Questions raised – and rebutted – about new Harper Lee novel
She’s getting progressively deafer and more blind, and that’s where things stand. I don’t hear from her. There’s no reason why I should, because we don’t need to do anything […] we do all our dealing through her lawyer, Tonja. It’s easier for the lawyer to go see her in the nursing home and say HarperCollins would like to do this and do that and get her permission. That’s the only reason nobody’s in touch with her. I’m told it’s very difficult to talk to her.Another is that Lee’s few forays into public life in recent years have generally been to excoriate those attempting to exploit her fame and fortune, her ill health, or both, be it suing the agent who tricked her into signing over the rights to Mockingbird or denying all involvement with a biography supposedly written with her co-operation. However, Andrew Nurnberg – Lee’s international rights agent – tells The Guardian via e-mail: ‘[Lee] was genuinely surprised at the discovery of the manuscript but delighted by the suggestion to publish what she considers to be the ‘parent’ to Mockingbird. I met with her last autumn and again over two days in January; she was in great spirits and increasingly excited at the prospect of this novel finally seeing the light of day.’ Alabama historian Wayne Flint has also averred that Lee is fully on board with the book’s publication, telling Alabama.com that ‘As late as yesterday, she was quite lucid, because I was there talking with her.’ Regardless of whether or not the book has Lee’s blessing, HarperCollins has already ordered an initial print run of two million, so it seems unlikely to matter either way.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.