Now I'm toying around with the idea of buying the recently released Mockingbird : A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shields, but it's only available in hard cover for now, and I can't afford to buy hard covers nowadays. (And besides, I love paperbacks, they're much easier to transport.) The book promises a glimpse into the life of Nelle Harper Lee and her family, and how her life and experiences led to her writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Information in the book was compiled from interviews with over 500 people who knew Harper Lee. In fact, there were so much information, Shields says he had to cut out a lot of stuff from his book, something very painful he had to do:
As I worked on Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, I had to be merciless about self-editing. There was so much that was colorful about the South in the 1930s, I could have included dozens of anecdotes about Harper Lee’s upbringing in Monroeville, Alabama. Especially when an incident would be otherwise lost to the historical record, I dreaded drawing my pen like a scalpel across a passage and excising it from the narrative.From the reviews I've read, the book doesn't reveal why Harper Lee didn't write more novels (and how could it, Harper Lee didn't grant the author an interview), but it does shed some insight on why she keeps herself away from the limelight. Certainly one to add to the bookshelf. Just have to wait for the paperback version first.