"To Kill a Mockingbird "is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. Yet for the last fifty years, the novel s celebrated author, Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has said almost nothing on the record. But in 2001, Nelle and her sister, Alice Finch Lee, opened their door to "Chicago Tribune "journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation and a wonderful friendship. Mills was given a rare opportunity to know Nelle, to be a part of the Lees life in Alabama, and to hear them reflect on their upbringing, their corner of the Deep South, and how "To Kill a Mockingbird " affected their lives.