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Harper Lee speaks – or not?

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Robert Sutton/The Tuscaloosa News/AP

(Read caption) Harper Lee, reclusive author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," is not known to have given a public interview for 45 years.

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Harper Lee has broken her silence – sort of.

At first, fans rejoined to hear that the author of “To Kill A Mockingbird” had cooperated with a former Chicago Tribune reporter for an upcoming book. For decades, Lee has stayed out of the public eye, living a quiet life in Alabama and politely refusing to discuss either her Pulitzer-Prize winning publication or herself. (She hasn’t given a public interview in 45 years, according to The Atlantic.)

But then Lee, 85, denied the reports of cooperation. She announced in a rare statement through her sister Alice’s law firm that she had not "authorized such a book" or "willingly participated" in one.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Penguin Press, which will publish “The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee,” by Marja Mills, countered with a statement of its own. The publishers released a letter prepared by Mills earlier this year and signed by 99-year-old Alice Lee, according to the AP. It read:


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