The Harper Lee Controversy

About the Harper Lee Controversy - Go Set a Watchman - Elder AbuseIt was recently announced that renowned author Harper Lee had given permission to publish a manuscript she wrote many years ago. According to some, it is a work that, at one time, Lee was adamant should never be released to the public.

Harper Lee and Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman is scheduled to be released this July. It is the foundational book that gave rise to Lee’s famous and beloved To Kill a Mockingbird. Apparently tucked away by her attorney, the book was recently “found” and Lee has agreed to allow it to be published, without revision, in its entirety.

When the news of the release was first announced in February, fans and friends began to question whether Lee was of sound mind, and whether others were taking advantage of the aging author. Many questioned whether Lee was truly capable of making such a decision. Allegations of elder abuse ensued.

A New York Times article notes that Lee’s literary agent and attorney promised her endorsement of the work, but also mentions that while many friends of the 88-year-old author believe her competent, there are others who don’t.  There have been questions about Harper Lee’s short-term memory and cognition.

Investigation and Resolution

Perhaps then, it will be of relief to those who have worried over the aged Lee that the Alabama Securities Commission recently spoke with her about the upcoming publication of Go Set a Watchman and the agency has issued a statement that it finds no reason to intervene.

An article from offers the following:

“We traveled to the nursing home to talk to Ms. Lee at the request of the Alabama Department of Human Resources,” said Steve Feaga, a lawyer with the securities commission. “We have since closed our files on the matter.”

While Feaga did not comment further, it seems that the agency found no reason for worry or to conduct any further investigation on the subject.

So, with a closed case, and Lee apparently in full agreement about the publication of her early work, the world of literature marches forward, and fans can fully enjoy the idea of a “new” book from a favorite writer, without worry that she didn’t mean to publish it.

Are you looking forward to Go Set a Watchman? Let us know!



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