A Different Kind of Courtroom Battle for Harper Lee


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. (Via.)

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →