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A unity award for `Mockingbird's' Lee

January 12, 2007|From the Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, ALA. — Reclusive author Harper Lee attended a high school play based on her book, "To Kill a Mockingbird," this week, then met with students who appeared in the production.

The production brought together about 60 students from nearly all-white Mountain Brook High and all-black Fairfield High Preparatory School.

The 80-year-old Lee was invited as a special guest to be honored by education and arts officials. Famous for prizing her privacy, she rarely speaks to reporters, though she does occasionally meet with students.

The author has not published another book since "Mockingbird," which remains a bestseller even decades after its publication in 1960.

After the Wednesday performance, Al Head, executive director of the Alabama State Council of the Arts, presented Lee a piece of pottery made by Alabama artist Larry Allen and titled "Unity Vessel."

Lee held the piece up toward the cast and crew, who stood behind her onstage, and waved to the audience, which gave a standing ovation. Lee did not address the crowd, but later talked to students at a reception.

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