Interview on Morning Blend, Milwaukee TV:
Interview on Milwaukee Public Televisionâ€™s â€śI Rememberâ€ť:
Â A New York Times, USA Today, and National Indie bestseller
To Kill a MockingbirdÂ is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novelâ€™s celebrated author, Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where she has lived part of the year with her sister Alice for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door toÂ Chicago TribuneÂ journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversationâ€”and a wonderful friendship.
In 2004, with the Leesâ€™ blessing, Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters. She spent the next eighteen months there, sharing coffee at McDonalds and trips to the Laundromat with Nelle, feeding the ducks and going out for catfish supper with the sisters, and exploring all over lower Alabama with the Lees and their inner circle of friends.
Nelle shared her love of history, literature, and the Southern way of life with Mills, as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced. As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their stories, Nelle helped make sure she was getting thatâ€”and the Southâ€”right. Alice, the keeper of the Lee family history, shared the stories of their family. The Mockingbird Next DoorÂ is the story of Millsâ€™s friendship with the Lee sisters. It is also a testament to the great intelligence, sharp wit, and tremendous storytelling power of these two women.
Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle, to be part of the Leesâ€™ life in Alabama, and to hear them reflect on their upbringing, their corner of the Deep South, howÂ To Kill a MockingbirdÂ affected their lives, and the reasons Nelle Harper Lee chose to never write another novel.
Interview on WABEâ€™s â€śCity Lightsâ€ť (Atlanta public radio show)
interview on Mississippi Public Radio
Read Marjaâ€™s original 2002 Chicago Tribune story, â€śA life apart: Harper Lee, the complex woman behind ‘a delicious mystery,â€™â€ť that was the basis for The Mockingbird Next Door. Link here.