Harper Lee is being awarded America's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for her outstanding contribution to literature. Her only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and is ranked by the Guinness Book of World Records as the top selling novel of all time. The novel has sold more than 30 million copies. Last week, To Kill a Mockingbird won the Quill Award for best audiobook of the year for its belated debut on audio.
According to the citation, Lee is being honored for "an outstanding contribution to America's literary tradition. At a critical moment in our history, her beautiful book, To Kill a Mockingbird, helped focus the nation on the turbulent struggle for equality."