When I was a teenager, my dad went to study in the US and so off we went to American High School. Even then, it was a culture shock to say the least, but it provided experiences to last me a life time, including the opportunity to enrol in whatever classes I wanted for a year and for me that meant American Literature. My favourite book was To Kill A Mockingbird. I have been obsessed with the work and its author Harper Lee ever since.
Today 28 April is Harper Lee’s birthday. Had she not passed away on 19 February she would have been 90 years old. Lee was born 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama. In 1959, she finished the manuscript for her Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller To Kill a Mockingbird.
Not long after, she helped fellow-writer and friend Truman Capote write an article for The New Yorker which was the foundation of his nonfiction masterpiece, In Cold Blood.
Amid a fair amount of controversy, Harper Lee published a second novel Go Set a Watchman in 2015. It was written before To Kill a Mockingbird and portrays the later lives of the same characters from her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. I am not ashamed to say I did not read it. Just couldn’t.
But what I could do is a Harper Lee birthday wrap with one of my prized possessions as the centre piece. It is a handbag made from a To Kill a Mockingbird hard cover book which my younger sister gave me. I tried quite a few ways of wrapping this and guess where I landed? I landed at less is more because the book cover itself is a form of wrap. I decided to add a simple gold bow that would complement the wonderful navy blue and golds of the cover design.