I love To Kill a Mockingbird as much as the next book geek. It’s a fantastic novel, and even more remarkable for being the only one Harper Lee ever published. So when they announced a sequel was on the way, I was just as excited as the rest of you, though it did strike me as odd. From everything I’d read, Harper Lee had consciously chosen not to publish anything after her first novel. For years, she’d made that decision.
Why the sudden change of heart?
It struck me as odd, and I wasn’t the only one. Someone shared this article on Facebook, highlighting many of the discrepancies in this “new book.” This piece on NPR doesn’t do much to allay those concerns. This article does even more to undermine my faith in these newest developments.
Why does it matter? It matters because an awful lot of money stands to be made, and I’m worried that it’s being made by taking advantage of a woman who (if she were still fully in charge of her future and decisions) would object to what’s going on.
An author isn’t some sort of money tree one can just shake down whenever one wants a new work. As I said, I’m a big fan of the original, but I’m also a big fan of authors having control over what they write, and what gets published.
Until I see an interview given by Harper Lee in person, on camera, I’m going to have serious doubts that any of this is above board. And as long as I have doubts, I won’t be paying money to buy a copy of this book. I’m very unhappy with how this is being treated by the publishers, agents, and editors involved, and with how it’s being portrayed in the press. The message is completely controlled by everyone but Harper Lee, the author.
Not like my opinion will count for much, but there you have it.