It was a sad day in the literary world on Friday when news broke that Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, had died at the age of 89.
The book, which was released in 1960, takes place in Great Depression-era Alabama and — despite often lighthearted moments among lawyer Atticus Finch and his children, a daughter nicknamed Scout and a son named Jem — directly takes on the issue of race, with much of it explored through Finch's representation of a Black man named Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a White woman.
The text itself was released during one of the country's most tumultuous times, as the civil rights movement continued to gain steam and eventually triggered an overhaul of many oppressive practices.
As a staple of English classes across the country, To Kill a Mockingbird has long been hailed as a classic and was the only book Harper wrote until Go Set a Watchman was released last year. The prequel-sequel itself was controversial, as it was called into question whether the book was actually intended for release or if Lee had given her blessing to it becoming available to the public.
But the original is so beloved, it brought forth an outpouring of comments from celebrities, writers, and people across the Internet who had to express their sadness and how they were personally touched by Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Check out some of the touching tributes that were offered on social media:
How have Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird affected you? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image via Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images