Harper Lee

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Who is Atticus Finch really—an arch-segregationist or a champion of justice? And how do we go about answering that question when going straight to the source isn’t an option?


May is Older Americans Month. In 2017, Georgia ranked 41st in the nation for senior health. GPB Special Correspondent Celeste Headlee talked about the state of our elder care system with Kathy Floyd, executive director for the Georgia Council on Aging, and Glenn Ostir, director of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Georgia.

Georgia leads most of the nation in average student loan debt. Nearly 1.5 million Georgians owe an average of $30,000 in federal student debt. Defaulting on student loans hurts more than your credit score; it can also result in losing your professional license. In more than a dozen states, including Georgia, your license can be seized if you don't keep up with your loan payments. 

Chapel Hill Public Library / Flickr

Between 1956 and 1961, "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee wrote a series of personal letters, now available to the public at Emory University's Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library.

The letters, written during the same period as Lee wrote "Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman," sheds light on the relationships of a renowned writer who was legendarily private. The correspondence also provides a new look into the civil rights movement-era South in which Lee wrote her novels. 

We talked with Emory University history professor Joe Crespino about these letters. His latest book, "Atticus Finch: The Biography," focuses on the influences that shaped Lee's writing.

Tullio Saba / Flickr

The estate of Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," is suing over an upcoming Broadway adaptation of the classic novel. In the lawsuit, Lee's estate complains about significant differences between the book and the play, which was adapted for the stage by "The West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin. 

The Real Atticus Finch

Jun 21, 2016
Universal Pictures

The character of Atticus Finch was a hero in his children's eyes, and he's been a hero to children all around the world who have read "To Kill A Mockingbird" or seen the film adaptation. Harper Lee's story of a gentlemanly Southern lawyer who defends a black man charged with the rape of a white woman may be a work of fiction, but our next guest says Atticus Finch is based on a real person: his father. 

Harper Lee Remembered

Feb 19, 2016

As we were finishing production on this week’s show, the bulletin crossed the wires announcing the death of Harper Lee at age 89. She was a giant of American literature and one of the most important chroniclers of the evolution of the American South in the mid-twentieth century.