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Published: Saturday, 9/22/2007

Harper Lee biographer schedules talks here

The author of a biography about Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, will speak at six local venues Tuesday and Wednesday.

Charles Shields interviewed 600 people over four years to gather material about the media-shy Lee for his 2006 book, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. A former English teacher, Shields taught Lee's famous novel, which won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, for years.

Tuesday, Shields will speak at Robinson Junior High School at 10 a.m.; the Maumee branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library at 2 p.m., and at the Kent branch in Toledo at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, he'll lead discussions at Sylvania Southview High School at 10 a.m.; in the West Toledo branch library at 2 p.m., and at Owens Community College's Center for Fine and Performing Arts Theatre at 7 p.m.

Shields' appearance is part of The Big Read in Lucas County, which kicks off tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Main Library's McMaster Center with P.J. O'Rourke, political humorist.

The Big Read is a project of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to get more people reading and talking about books. The library is organizing the local effort which includes screenings of the 1962 film based on the book, starring Gregory Peck, book club discussions, and other activities.

Information: 419-259-5207 and www.toledolibrary.org.

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