Up Close: Harper Lee
Kerry Madden
Viking, 2009
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Up Close: Harper Lee (Foreword, continued)

She once waited for friends to meet her at the Russian Tea Room in New York City, sipping a martini and reading Eudora Welty. The evening later inspired a poem by Wayne Greenhaw. She adores young people and will always take the time to talk to them and listen to their stories and answer their questions.

A clerk at the Monroeville Post Office said five or six fan letters still typically arrive every week, usually from adults, and she picks them up herself if she’s in town. She spends roughly half the year in Alabama and the other half in New York, although lately she has spent more time in Alabama because of health issues and to be closer to her sister. All over town, folks described seeing Nelle Harper in jeans and T-shirts at Hardees, McDonalds, the Huddle House, and David’s Catfish. But the librarian of Monroeville, Bunny Hines, said it best when she described a lady from up North who came in and desperately wanted to send Harper Lee a bouquet of flowers. “She was so sweet, bless her heart, but I had to discourage the woman. Nelle doesn’t want flowers and fancy gifts sent to her. Nelle is just plain folks."



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