TIME Books

Then and Now: Two Interviews With Fifty Shades of Grey Author E.L. James

"Fame is not something I sought," she says

When Erika Leonard first came up with the idea that became Fifty Shades of Grey, she called herself Snow Queen Ice Dragon — or SQID, for short — and wrote on a site for Twilight fans. Her erotic tales involving the characters Bella Thorne and Edward Cullen proved so popular she was persuaded to change some names and amass them into an e-book, produced by a teensy publisher in suburban Australia and written under the name E.L. James.

Kindles were a relatively new thing in 2011 and, as Leonard tells it, a group of women in Long Island, New York, found the e-books and began to tell their friends — of which there were many. As the book’s popularity grew, a group invited Leonard to come to a a reading. Photojournalist Gillian Laub was there for the occasion and grabbed an interview with the reclusive author.

Fast forward a few years, and Leonard is now a multimillionaire author and producer of the movie version of Fifty Shades, out Feb. 13. While media reports suggest that she hasn’t let wealth and fame change her too much, she doesn’t really need to give interviews. But she did consent to answer some (not all) of our questions via email.

TIME: What scene in the movie were you most worried about translating to screen and why?
Erika Leonard:
I was most worried about the scenes in the red room. I wanted them to be tasteful and erotic, and that was a journey, but we got there in the end.

Do you have favorite scene?
The glider scene and the post-graduation bar scene. For me those scenes really capture the spirit of the book.

What made you decide to become a producer?
Because I could. (Christian Grey would appreciate that comment.) I didn’t want to take the money and run — I wanted the movie to be one the readership would love.

What have you enjoyed most about the process of filming?
I enjoyed breaking down the book with the screenwriter Kelly Marcel and deciding what should and should not be in the movie. That was fun — hard work, but fun.

Your life must have changed so much in the last three years. Do you have any reflections on fame?
Fame is not something I sought, and happily I’m still not that famous — I can still roam the streets anonymously, at home and in the States, and I love that. But I have had some amazing experiences, and for that I’m incredibly grateful to all the people who bought and loved the books.

Is there anything you would differently if you wrote the books again?
Yes. Quite a few things, in fact — but the books seem to be so well loved by so many I’ve let all that go…

Do you have plans to write more books?
Yes, I do. But like most authors I’d rather do it than talk about it.

These books are an exploration of a fantasy. Have you been surprised by how much they’ve resonated?
Surprised doesn’t quite cover it. I get the most extraordinary, heart wrenching emails from readers who have been deeply touched by the books. I’m honored that so many people have shared their moving stories and their love of the books with me.

TIME

E.L. James Had Final Say on the Fifty Shades Movie Ending

Fifty Shades of Gray
Chuck Zlotnick—Universal Pictures Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star in Fifty Shades of Grey

The last word was a matter of debate between the book's author and the director

When Fifty Shades of Grey opens in theaters next week, E.L. James will have the last word — and as it turns out, that word was quite a matter of debate between the author of the books and the movie’s director, Sam Taylor-Johnson.

James was given an unusual level of control over the movie adaptation when she sold her book rights to Universal, according to The Hollywood Reporter. So when she was unhappy with the movie’s ending as imagined by Taylor-Johnson, she demanded that one single word — albeit an important one — be changed.

Spoiler alert: the debate came down to whether the protagonist, Anastasia Steele, would ask her lover, Christian Grey, to cease a consensual beating by saying “stop,” or using their safe word, “red.” James favored the former, Taylor-Johnson the latter. While Universal did not comment to The Hollywood Reporter, fans can see for themselves whether the true-to-the-novel ending works on Feb. 14.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

TIME movies

Documentary Questions Lewis Carroll’s Relationship With ‘Alice’ Inspiration

Alice Liddell  -   taken by Lewis Carroll
Lebrecht Authors / Getty Images A photograph of Alice Liddell taken by Lewis Carroll in 1858

But is there any scholarly evidence of Carroll’s perceived pedophilia?

History Today logoThis post is in partnership with History Today. The article below was originally published at HistoryToday.com.

The screening last week of a new BBC documentary, The Secret World of Lewis Carroll, attracted eye-catching headlines: ‘The Victorian Jimmy Savile’ and ‘repressed paedophile’ being among the more dramatic examples.

Presented by journalist Martha Kearney and timed to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the documentary explored the controversy surrounding Carroll’s friendship with children and his obsession with photography.

The question that has dogged Carroll’s more recent biographers is one mired in Victorian sensuality and sexuality. Are the photographs he took of young girls simply, as he maintained, an exploration of innocence? Or is there a darker, more dangerous motivation behind them?

The programme makers have a clear agenda: to make their viewer aware of the possible subtext behind Carroll’s work and attempt to provide the evidence for it. Interestingly, almost all the experts interviewed either deny or were noncommittal on their interpretation of the evidence for Carroll’s supposed sexual deviance. The only person who seemed in agreement with the idea of Carroll’s paedophilia was the author, Will Self, who, in surprising contrast, has written of his own anger at the perceived culture of paedophile hysteria, which caused him to be questioned by police while out for a country walk with his son.

The idea that the third most quoted literary work in the world, behind only Shakespeare and the Bible, was authored by a man harbouring a dangerous intent towards his young friends is obviously an attractive prospect for television. But, in a world where history is presented as popular culture, just how accurate do programme makers need to be?

Martha Kearney makes it clear that she does not want to believe the rumours surrounding Carroll and the young Liddell girls. We are told not to judge the Victorians by the morals of today; that the age of consent was only 12; that there was a Victorian photographic school that focused on the depiction of nude children. But this is all done with a firmly persuasive hand, impressing on you that while we may not be able to prove Carroll definitely was a paedophile, we also can’t definitely prove that he wasn’t either – and this question hangs over the entire programme, constantly returned to by expert and fan alike.

So where were the revisionist historians? The Karoline Leaches, The Jenny Woolfs? Both authors have, in new studies into the ‘Carroll Myth’, exposed our reliance on the biographers of the 1930s who, in an attempt to play down Carroll’s relationship with young women, reduced the age of his young friends to such a degree that their – and his – innocence would supposedly be assured. They did not expect, it seems, that, to modern biographers, this merely served to further enflame the rumours surrounding Carroll.

To help their case, the producers ignored specific contextual information. There was no mention that Carroll became friendly with the Liddells through their son, Henry, rather than the three girls, or that in 1857, six years before the supposed break with the Liddells that anti-Carrollians take to be a sign of his inappropriate behaviour, Carroll recorded in his diary that his friendship with the children had resulted in rumours of a supposed attachment to their governess, Miss Prickett. He is mortified and records in his diary that he has resolved not to see the children again.

There was no mention either of his donations to charities that rescued and aided children who had been sexually exploited. Although this new research has only been recently revealed by Jenny Woolf’s 2011 book, The Mystery of Lewis Carroll, it was well known to the programme’s consultant, Professor Robert Douglas-Fairhurst.

The sudden shoe-horning in of a photograph held in a French archive at the very end of the programme smacks a little of desperation, a desire to prove unequivocally that Carroll’s relationship with at least one of the Liddell girls was not wholly innocent. As the interviewed experts were not invited to comment on it, the programme ends with the uncomfortable feeling that no matter what we may want to believe, Carroll’s world was not the innocent childlike wonderland he would want us to imagine. However, the programme makers have again left out a key piece of information. Carroll stayed in contact with the Liddell girls for many years, even sending their mother a heartfelt inscription to the 1886 edition of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground which read: ‘To Her, whose children’s smiles fed the narrator’s fancy and were his rich reward: from the Author. Xmas.’ The crushing ‘break’ seems to have little to no lasting effect.

Popular culture is dangerously good at historical myth making. If recent research is to be believed, Carroll’s perceived paedophilia seems to have little scholarly evidence. Although this documentary raises important questions about Carroll and Victorian ideas of innocence, childhood and sexuality, it does so on scant evidence and fails to fully engage with the record of Carroll’s own diaries and the personal testimonies of those around him.

Fern Riddell is a contributing editor at History Today.

TIME movies

Charlie Hunnam Replaces Benedict Cumberbatch in The Lost City of Z

FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" Premiere
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin—FilmMagic Actor Charlie Hunnam arrives at FX's 'Sons Of Anarchy' premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on September 6, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

The Brad Pitt-produced film gets a new leading man

Benedict Cumberbatch’s busy schedule was bound to catch up with him. The beloved Brit has dropped out of the highly-anticipated film adaptation of The Lost City of Z so that he can dedicate the proper amount of time to his own Marvel franchise as Doctor Strange.

Cumberbatch is the second actor to drop out of the role of Amazon explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett. Brad Pitt also stepped out of the role, though Pitt is still producing the film.

Charlie Hunnam, best known for Sons of Anarchy and turning down Fifty Shades of Grey, will replace Cumberbatch as Fawcett, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sienna Miller will play Fawcett’s wife and Robert Pattinson his son and fellow traveler (though the two are only six years of age apart in real life).

In the New York Times bestseller Lost City of Z, New Yorker writer David Grann retraces the steps of real-life British explorer Percy Fawcett, who ventured into the Amazon in 1925 to find an ancient civilization but never returned. Grann himself trekked the Amazon in an attempt to find any trace of the doomed explorer.

[THR]

TIME Companies

Amazon’s Kindle Convert Can Turn Your Books Into E-Books

Ditch the paper

Amazon has created a new tool that allows readers to turn their physical books into e-books, as the online retailer grows its digital reading options.

Kindle Convert, an application for Windows, turns print books into digital versions that work on Amazon’s Kindle software, TechCrunch reports. The program costs $19 and requires users to scan the pages of physical book at a computer scanner. The hardware can help Kindle users convert out-of-print and rare books into digital form, with the goal of preserving them and making them more accessible. Converted books can be viewed in adjustable font and employ dictionary lookup and Whispersync.

Amazon has been pushing its Kindle platform with an ever-increasing array of digital reading platforms, including an e-book library, self-publishing for textbooks and books, and free access to the Washington Post.

TIME Books

Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman Will Realign the Literary Universe

Pulitzer Prize winner and To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Nov. 5, 2007 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla—2007 Getty Images Pulitzer Prize winner and To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Nov. 5, 2007 in Washington, DC.

Expect Harper Lee's unexpected new book to forever change the way we read To Kill a Mockingbird

Today, to the delight and total consternation of the literary world, HarperCollins announced that it will publish a previously unknown novel by Harper Lee, the author of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird. The new novel is called Go Set a Watchman, and it deals with the adult life of “Scout” Finch, whom we met Mockingbird as a six-year-old.

When Go Set a Watchman appears in July it will—in subtle but very real ways—realign the literary universe. Among the many things that made Mockingbird special was its singularity: after its release in 1960 Lee never published another book. She’s not the only great one-novel novelist—there’s also Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago), Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights), Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man), and Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)—but they’re increasingly rare birds in an age when writers feel obliged to lash themselves to produce the maximum possible verbiage, over the longest possible career, at any cost.

But to clarify, this isn’t Lee’s second novel—it’s her first. She wrote Go Set a Watchman in the mid-1950s, before To Kill a Mockingbird. Watchman is about Scout going back to her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama to visit her father, Atticus. At the time the editor she showed it to was more interested in Scout’s memories of her childhood, and suggested Lee write an entire novel just about that. Needless to say she did.

Now the manuscript of Go Set a Watchman has been rediscovered by a friend of Lee’s and will be published in July, unchanged. “After much thought and hesitation I shared it with a handful of people I trust,” Lee said in a press release, “and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.” (Some doubt has been cast on whether Lee—who at 88 has had some health problems and resides in an assisted living facility—is entirely competent to approve the book’s publication; it’s been pointed out that this announcement comes shortly after Lee’s sister and attorney Alice, who often guided her professional interests, passed away in November. But if there’s anything opportunistic or untoward in the book’s publication, so far it’s in the realm of speculation only.)

It’s hard to think of a precedent in literary history, though there are parallels—for example, the estate of JD Salinger (another one-novel novelist) will in coming years posthumously publish stories dealing with his most famous characters, Holden Caulfield and the Glass family.

It’s anybody’s guess whether Watchman is another masterpiece, but whatever happens it will irreversibly change the way we read To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is one of the great good fathers of American literature, and his relationship with Scout has been a platonic ideal and a template for any number of parents and children. Is Scout now coming back to Maycomb to resolve some lingering, unresolved, previously unknown conflict with him? From now on Mockingbird won’t just be the story of Scout’s childhood, it will be the answer to a question that we never knew had been asked: how did the hero of Go Set a Watchman become the woman that she is?

One mystery that Watchman won’t solve is why Lee never wrote again. That her warm, generous, instantly familiar voice fell silent is one of the enduring enigmas of literary history, and most likely will remain that way. But Watchman will at least tell us whether Lee’s voice was already there, before she wrote Mockingbird, or whether that particular voice arrived to tell that particular story.

As to why it vanished, we may only ever know what Lee said in one of her very few public appearances, when she accepted the Alabama Medal of Freedom in 2001: “Well, it’s better to be silent than be a fool.”

TIME Books

The To Kill a Mockingbird Sequel’s First Printing Will Be 400 Times Bigger Than the Original

How the new novel's first printing stacks up against other much-hyped books

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee is set to publish her first book in 55 years this summer, and many in the literary world are rejoicing.

The legendary one-book writer decided to end her career as a novelist to avoid the publicity she faced following Mockingbird‘s massive success, which included a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award-winning film adaptation. Mockingbird’s popularity means it’s no surprise that the sequel, Go Set a Watchman (which Lee wrote in the 1950s but set aside), will have a first printing of 2,000,000 copies.

That’s a massive number for a first printing, which represents a publisher’s estimate for a book’s immediate demand. It’s even more notable considering Watchman isn’t part of a beloved fantasy or thriller series, which often see high first printing counts.

Here’s how Watchman‘s first printing stacks up against other heavily hyped novels, from the final books of the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, to last year’s Pulitzer winner The Goldfinch.

It’s also worth noting just how much the popularity of Lee and these other authors have grown: Lee’s Mockingbird had a first printing of about 5,000, while J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book — get ready — had a first printing of only 500.

 

TIME Books

So Where Has Harper Lee Been All These Years?

Harper Lee
Rob Carr—AP Harper Lee smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. on Aug. 20, 2007.

The To Kill a Mockingbird author returns after decades out of the spotlight

Today, Harper Lee’s publisher announced that the novelist will release her second novel in July. Lee, age 88, has become a part of the American canon with To Kill a Mockingbird, the story of a young girl’s coming of age against the backdrop of racism in 1930s Alabama. The novel is widely taught and earned her a Pulitzer Prize.

But it’s not just To Kill a Mockingbird‘s success that makes Lee’s news so remarkable. Lee is widely considered a true, and rare, literary recluse, having walked away from stratospheric success and publishing no additional books, despite decades of mounting interest. Lee does not grant interviews, and what articles she has written have been few and far between, including a 2006 item on her love of reading for O, the Oprah Magazine.

Lee, who resides in Monroeville, Ala., still, has reportedly worked on various projects through the years, including a novel whose manuscript she has said was stolen from her and a nonfiction book she simply walked away from. (Her new book, Go Set a Watchman, is neither; it’s the original draft, featuring Scout as an adult woman in the 1950s, that she rewrote to create Mockingbird.) But by all accounts, the author for whom writing To Kill a Mockingbird was a stressful, laborious process (and who’s been cruelly tarred for years with rumors that she did not even write it), had until recently lived a fairly harmonious life.

In 2011, though, Lee released a statement that she had not participated in a forthcoming book by the reporter Marja Mills, kicking off a period of intense speculation about her acuity and entanglements. Mills’s book, The Mockingbird Next Door, took as its subject a period of time in which Mills lived next door to Lee and her elder sister Alice. The incident is mired in controversy, with Lee strongly implying that her older sister participated in the book due to diminished capacities brought on by old age and Mills outright stating “I question that Nelle [Harper Lee’s real name] really wrote the letter that was released in her name this week.” An article published by New York last year raised questions over lawyer Tonja Carter’s involvement in Lee’s life; Carter, who has power of attorney over Lee, reportedly sued the nonprofit museum in Lee’s hometown that had long sold Mockingbird memorabilia. (In a lengthy statement about her new book, Lee notes that Carter “discovered” it and that “a handful of people I trust” encouraged the book’s publication.)

The controversy stirred up by the manner of reporting Mills’s recent book overshadowed what it revealed about Lee: That, having walked away from the spotlight, Lee was very happy. The novelist enjoys a small-town life colored by coffee at McDonald’s and salads from Burger King, reading Britain’s Times Literary Supplement and every day feeding the town ducks. As Lee has said: “It’s better to be silent than to be a fool.” But, to those that know her in her hometown, she’s by all accounts neither; sharp-witted and a presence in town. Soon, her fans can only hope, she’ll be the same once more on the literary scene.

TIME Books

Read TIME’s Original Review of To Kill a Mockingbird

Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Pulitzer Prize winner and 'To Kill A Mockingbird' author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, DC.

'Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers.'

More than half a century has passed since TIME reviewed Harper Lee’s first and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird — but this summer TIME may have a second opportunity to review this celebrated and reclusive author’s work, when the publishing house Harper releases her recently discovered second novel, Go Set a Watchman. The publisher announced on Tuesday that the novel — which was actually written before Mockingbird — will be available on July 14.

TIME’s first review of To Kill a Mockingbird appeared in an Aug. 1, 1960 edition of the magazine, under the headline, “About Life & Little Girls.” While the reviewer doesn’t hold back on the praise, perhaps no one at the time could have anticipated the sensation the book would become.

Here is TIME’s original review, in full:

Clearly, Scout Finch is no ordinary five-year-old girl—and not only because she amuses herself by reading the financial columns of the Mobile Register, but because her nine-year-old brother Jem allows her to tag along when he and Dill Harris try to make Boo Radley come out.

Boo is the Radley son who has not shown his face outside the creaky old family house for 30 years and more, probably because he has “shy ways,” but possibly —an explanation the children much prefer—because his relatives have chained him to his bed. Dill has the notion that Boo might be lured out if a trail of lemon drops were made to lead away from his doorstep. Scout and Jem try a midnight invasion instead, and this stirs up so much commotion that Jem loses his pants skittering back under the fence.

Scout and her brother live in Maycomb, Alabama, where every family that amounts to anything has a streak—a peculiar streak, or a morbid streak, or one involving a little ladylike tippling at Lydia Pinkham bottles filled with gin. The Finch family streak is a good deal more serious —it is an overpowering disposition toward sanity. This is the flaw that makes Jem interrupt the boasting of a lineage-proud dowager to ask “Is this the Cousin Joshua who was locked up for so long?” And it is what compels Lawyer Atticus Finch, the children’s father, to defend a Negro who is charged with raping a white woman. The rape trial, Jem’s helling, and even Boo Radley are deeply involved in the irregular and very effective education of Scout Finch. By the time she ends her first-person account at the age of nine, she has learned that people must be judged, but only slowly and thoughtfully.

Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; Novelist Lee‘s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life. (A notable one: “Naming people after Confederate generals makes slow steady drinkers.”) All in all, Scout Finch is fiction’s most appealing child since Carson McCullers’ Frankie got left behind at the wedding.

See the page as it originally appeared, here in the TIME Vault

TIME Books

To Kill A Mockingbird Author Harper Lee to Publish First Novel in 55 Years

Bush Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Pulitzer Prize winner and "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Nov. 5, 2007.

Go Set a Watchman will be Lee's first new work in more than 50 years

(NEW YORK) — “To Kill a Mockingbird” will not be Harper Lee’s only published book after all.

Publisher Harper announced Tuesday that “Go Set a Watchman,” a novel the Pulitzer Prize-winning author completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be released July 14. Rediscovered last fall, “Go Set a Watchman” is essentially a sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” although it was finished earlier. The 304-page book will be Lee’s second, and the first new work in more than 50 years.

The publisher plans a first printing of 2 million copies.

“In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called ‘Go Set a Watchman,'” the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by Harper. “It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’) from the point of view of the young Scout.

“I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realized it (the original book) had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal was negotiated between Carter and the head of Harper’s parent company, Michael Morrison of HarperCollins Publishers. “Watchman” will be published in the United Kingdom by William Heinemann, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

According to publisher Harper, Carter came upon the manuscript at a “secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.'” The new book is set in Lee’s famed Maycomb, Alabama, during the mid-1950s, 20 years after “To Kill a Mockingbird” and roughly contemporaneous with the time that Lee was writing the story. The civil rights movement was taking hold by the time she was working on “Watchman.” The Supreme Court had ruled unanimously in 1953 that segregated schools were unconstitutional, and the arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955 led to the yearlong Montgomery bus boycott.

“Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus,” the publisher’s announcement reads. “She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.”

Lee herself is a Monroeville, Alabama native who lived in New York in the 1950s. She now lives in her hometown. According to the publisher, the book will be released as she first wrote it, with no revisions.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is among the most beloved novels in history, with worldwide sales topping 40 million copies. It was released on July 11, 1960, won the Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a 1962 movie of the same name, starring Gregory Peck in an Oscar-winning performance as the courageous attorney Atticus Finch. Although occasionally banned over the years because of its language and racial themes, the novel has become a standard for reading clubs and middle schools and high schools. The absence of a second book from Lee only seemed to enhance the appeal of “Mockingbird.”

Lee’s publisher said the author is unlike to do any publicity for the book. She has rarely spoken to the media since the 1960s, when she told one reporter that she wanted to “to leave some record of small-town, middle-class Southern life.” Until now, “To Kill a Mockingbird” had been the sole fulfillment of that goal.

“This is a remarkable literary event,” Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement. “The existence of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Reading in many ways like a sequel to Harper Lee’s classic novel, it is a compelling and ultimately moving narrative about a father and a daughter’s relationship, and the life of a small Alabama town living through the racial tensions of the 1950s.”

The new book also will be available in an electronic edition. Lee has openly started her preference for paper, but surprised fans last year by agreeing to allow “Mockingbird” to be released as an e-book.

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