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Private funeral service held for author Harper Lee in Alabama home town on Saturday

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Author Harper Lee, who led a mostly quiet life after the publication of her 1960 classic of American literature “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was laid to rest on Saturday following a private memorial service at a church in her Alabama home town, her attorney said.

The service comes just one day after Lee’s attorney said she had died in her sleep on Friday at age 89 in her hometown of Monroeville.

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The funeral service attended by Lee’s family and friends was held at First United Methodist Church in Monroeville, with Auburn University professor emeritus Wayne Flynt delivering the eulogy, said Lee’s attorney, Tonja Carter.

The acclaimed author, who after her death drew praise on Friday from a wide range of public figures, including Oprah Winfrey and former President George W. Bush, was laid to rest at her family burial plot, alongside her father, mother and one sister, Alice, Carter said.

Lee had for years alternated between sharing a home with her sister, Alice Lee, in Monroeville and living in an apartment in New York.

She won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1960 book “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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Its unflinching examination of racial hatred in the South centered on lawyer Atticus Finch, the adored father of the young narrator Scout, who stood up to a white lynch mob and unsuccessfully defended a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman.

In Lee’s second novel, “Go Set a Watchman” which was published last year and quickly became a bestseller, an older Atticus had racial views that left the grown-up Scout greatly disillusioned.

Lee reportedly wrote “Go Set a Watchman” before she authored “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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For many years, Lee, a shy woman with an engaging Southern drawl who never married, lived quietly and privately, always turning down interview requests.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Marguerita Choy)


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