April 19, 2018

CA Libraries Snag Literary Legends Lee, Bradbury

By LJ Staff

The Los Angeles Public Library scored a coup May 19 when it lured reclusive author Harper Lee to drop her shield of privacy and accept its Literary Award. Lee, 79, was invited to the ceremony by Véronique Peck, the widow of Gregory Peck, who won an Oscar for his performance as protagonist Atticus Finch in the 1962 film adaptation of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill A Mockingbird. Lee’s comments were typically brief, telling attendees: ‘I’ll say it again. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.’ In nearby Ventura County, the Thousand Oaks Library hosted Ray Bradbury, who offered a talk to benefit the facility’s Friends Endowment Fund. Artist Carol Heyer donated a painting of Bradbury as a child holding a book and surrounded by planets that will be on permanent display. Accompanying the painting is the sentiment the author wrote for the occasion: ‘Today the Thousand Oaks Library, tomorrow the moon, Mars, and the great learning library of the universe and all creation.’ Bradbury recalled the many hours he’s spent in libraries when learning his craft: ‘You can’t learn writing in college and you can’t learn it in school, but you can learn writing in a library.’