The estate of Harper Lee will no longer allow the publication of the mass market paperback edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee’s estate is expected to earn higher royalties from the trade paperback, which sold 22,554 copies so far this year compared to the 55,367 copies of the mass market paperbacks....more
Posts Tagged: Harper Lee
At Lit Hub, Kate Jenkins discusses Southern literature’s clumsy history in dealing with race, and theorizes that, in light of Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee may have actually been much more ahead of her time than we thought:
Did Harper Lee ever consider Atticus a hero?
Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, passed away on Friday. William Grimes remembers her life and work for the New York Times:
Looking back on her childhood as a precocious tomboy, Scout, the narrator, evokes the sultry summers and simple pleasures of an ordinary small town in Alabama.
Vann R. Newkirk II (@fivefifths) writes for Seven Scribes on the experience of discovering novels by black writers to act as a necessary complement to reading Harper Lee’s reductive portrayals of race in Mockingbird and Watchman:
These books, this canon, represented the exact opposite of what To Kill a Mockingbird meant.
According to a recent account by Harper Lee’s lawyer, the famed author wrote a third manuscript that may be a “parent novel” that “bridges” To Kill A Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman together. The manuscript was discovered in Lee’s safe-deposit box, and is currently being examined by experts....more
In 1978, while writing Gregory Peck’s biography, Michael Freedman had the privilege of talking on the phone with Harper Lee, resulting in possibly the only interview the author ever gave. Now, he writes about their conversation over at the Guardian:
I remember very well how the rendezvous was arranged.
At the Guardian, author M.O. Walsh tries to account for the global popularity of southern gothic literature. While he attributes much of southern gothic literature’s success to a tradition of oral storytelling, he also suggests that it is the southern novelist’s ability to treat the “grotesque” with empathy that helps to create memorable characters:
Show me a southern gothic novel written by someone who’s not from the south and the odds are that I’ll show you a bad novel.
The mysterious buzz surrounding the upcoming release of Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, has had readers and journalists speculating about the elderly author’s mental capabilities in a manner often invasive and disrespectful. Lee answered a particularly nosy inquiry with a curt “go away,” concisely expressing how the rest of us have felt about journalists all along....more
Since the announcement of Harper Lee’s forthcoming novel Go Set a Watchman, residents of Lee’s hometown, Monroeville, Alabama, along with the general public, have questioned whether or not publishers are taking advantage of the eighty-eight year old author. Recently, however, Lee’s lawyer Tonja Carter insists that the author is “lucid.”
[Lee] is a very strong, independent, and wise woman who should be enjoying the discovery of her long lost novel,” Carter said....more
Sure, everyone is jazzed about the new Harper Lee book (except for those of us who are worried). But here is a book we can all get behind—a new Milan Kundera novel to be translated to English this summer:
Faber described the new book as a “wryly comic yet deeply serious glance at the ultimate insignificance of life and politics, told through the daily lives of four friends in modern-day Paris”.
Here’s an author who has staunchly refused interviews and publicity since 1960, who hasn’t breathed a word about her interest in publishing another book to either family or friends, but who is suddenly fine with releasing her decades-old Mockingbird prequel, despite the fact that it doesn’t sound like anyone at her publisher has actually been in touch with her about it?
Harper Lee is set to publish a sequel to her Pulitzer-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee’s only novel has sold more than 30 million copies and earns almost $4 million a year. Lee’s poor health, combined with more than five decades of literary silence, leads Modern Notion to question the motivation to suddenly publish a followup:
Some fans are confused about the timing of the book and wonder whether Lee was pressured into the decision.
In November, we posted a link to a story about To Kill a Mockingbird’s Harper Lee suing her hometown museum.
But it turns out the aging author has an even bigger fish to fry in the courtroom: her literary agent who “duped” her into signing over the copyright to her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel....more
Well, this is all rather awkward: Harper Lee, who is now 87 and in an assisted-living facility, is suing the gift shop of a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, for trademark infringement.
The museum, “built around a refurbished version of the courtroom” from To Kill A Mockingbird, already got rid of gift-shop items like “Calpurnia’s Cookbook,” but retains other “unlicensed Mockingbird-related merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to tote bags to packages of ‘Mockingbird Lemonade Mix.'”
The whole story highlights a queasy give-and-take between crass commercialization, tradition, and a much-needed source of jobs and revenue in a small town....more