Tag Archives: Harper Lee

Killing *that* Mockingbird

18 Mar

(I originally posted this to the Literature discussion section of MyMedia, but since I have a page on copyright, and have railed often against its abuse *coughDisneycough*, I wanted to post it here as well.)

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With the recent death of Harper Lee, celebrated author of that quintessential classic of US literature, To Kill a Mockingbird, some readers and industry professionals have been uneasy about her legacy.

After all, after last summer’s release of the never-before-published prequel/sequel, Go Set a Watchman, which created strong, and often wildly disparate opinions among fans of Ms Lee’s first novel, there was speculation as to the circumstances under which the manuscript was discovered, and about whether its publication went against the wishes of the author.

Now, Ms Lee’s estate first official action has been to stop publication of any and all mass paperback editions of To Kill a Mockingbird–after requesting the courts to seal the beloved author’s will.

Many people are wondering what motive would Tonja Carter, who was Ms Lee’s lawyer and who is the executor of her estate, have to want to hide her late client’s will from public eyes.

Whatever her reason, her move to block the publication and reprinting of the inexpensive paperback editions, which would force new readers to purchase the much pricier trade paperback editions, is undoubtedly going to taint Ms Lee’s legacy–as well as making it less likely that schools will continue to list To Kill a Mockingbird in their required reading lists: Continue reading