TIME Books

J.K. Rowling Just Answered Four Revealing Harry Potter Questions

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling poses
AFP—AFP/Getty Images Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling during the launch of Pottermore in central London on June 23, 2011.

Finally we learn what happened to Fluffy

The Boy Who Lived got his own holiday in the UK on Thursday as fans gathered for Harry Potter Book Night. After the event, which was created by Bloomsbury, the publishing house behind the beloved series, J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to thank fans.

But she also surprised some lucky Tweeters by answering their burning questions about the series. And in typical Rowling fashion, she didn’t hold back on the snark, either.

The first question was about why the Horcrux inside of Harry was not destroyed when he was bit by a basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. To Potterheads, the answer is pretty obvious, which Rowling seemed to think as well.

Rowling also shared what happened to Fluffy, the three-headed dog who guards the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first book.

She later revealed why 12 Grimmauld Place, headquarters for The Order of the Phoenix, was in the middle of a Muggle neighborhood.

And fans who sought loopholes in the science of Horcruxes were treated to answers.

When Rowling responds on Twitter, she adds a character in front of the user’s handle, making sure each Tweet is seen by her entire following. The author has been quite active on social media and her site Pottermore in the last year, surprising fans with new stories and information about the future of her favorite characters. She signed off on Friday by saying she didn’t have time for more than a few HP answers. Maybe if we all drink Felix Felicis she’ll be back to answer more.

Read Next: Everything J.K. Rowling Revealed About Harry Potter in 2014

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Teens Crave Young Adult Books on Really Dark Topics (and That’s OK)

Gayle Forman
Dennis Kleiman—© Stomping Ground Photo 2014 Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman is the award-winning New York Times best-selling author of the novels: If I Stay, Where She Went and the Just One Day series. Her latest 'dark' book, I Was Here, follows a young woman in the aftermath of her best friend's suicide.

It's time to stop worrying that great YA novels about risky behavior or even death will be a bad influence on kids

When I was 12 years old, I became an avid reader, my bookshelves stuffed with paperbacks like Jackie Collins’ Hollywood Wives, Sidney Sheldon’s The Other Side of Midnight and Harold Robbins’ Dreams Die First. Much as I loved reading about groupies and spies and Hollywood wives, and drug addicts and murderers, I was not one of them. I hadn’t even French kissed. Though some of the girls at my school were already sexually experienced, in spite of my racy reading, I was not. I wasn’t much into boys, at least not ones who existed off the page of a juicy book.

I think about teen-reader me a lot when I hear about adults bemoaning the dark material in Young Adult books. (Interestingly, I rarely meet these folks; only read about them.) Because the concerns seem partially predicated on this idea that you become what you read. By that logic, I would’ve become a cocaine-snorting groupie years ago, or a lunatic or a murderous Russian. Because by 10th grade, it was Vonnegut and Dostoyevsky I was obsessed with. Partly because by this time, I’d become a wee bit pretentious. But partly because the kinds of books I would’ve loved to read weren’t being written yet.

The other concern with dark YA seems based on a worry that these intense stories—which sometimes deal with issues like self-harm and addiction and abuse and even death—could irrevocably damage fragile minds.

Huh.

I’m never all that sure what makes a book “dark” in the first place. It seems to vary with seasons, or the trends. Are dark books the ones that allegorically explore serious subject matter, like warfare (The Hunger Games) or the human capacity for destruction (Grasshopper Jungle)? Or at they the ones that reflect our actual world, including the capacity for human cruelty and kindness (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian) or the messy stuff of human mortality (The Fault In Our Stars)?

Because if those books are dark, and that’s a problem, I’m confused. Are these not the same subjects young people are encouraged to engage in at school, by reading the newspaper, or canonical texts like The Iliad (warfare) or Macbeth (the capacity for self destruction) or To Kill A Mockingbird (kindness and cruelty) or A Farwell to Arms, all Emily Dickinson poetry (that messy morality business)?

But for a moment, let’s put the question of whether books are dark aside. For a moment, let’s just say that some YA is dark. And….so what?

Literature swims in the murkier waters of the human condition. Conflict and matters of life and death, of freedom and oppression—it is the business of books to explore these themes, and the business of teenagers, too.

New brain mapping research suggests that adolescence is a time when teens are capable of engaging deeply with material, on both an intellectual level as well as an emotional one. Some research suggests that during adolescence, the parts of the brain that processes emotion are even more online with teens than with adults, (something that will come as absolutely no surprise to any parent of a teenager). So, developmentally, teens are hungry for more provocative grist while emotionally they’re thirsty for the catharsis these books offer. Of course teens are drawn to darker, meatier fare. The only surprise about this is that it’s a surprise.

There may be another reason for the appeal. Adolescence is a time when teens are statistically more likely to come into harm’s way, and thus more likely to witness harm among their peers. According to the National Institutes for Mental Health, teens between 15 and 19 are about six times more likely to die by injury than people ages 10 to 14. Is it any wonder that they want books to help process what they’re experiencing around them, often for the first time?

That increased death rate, however, is a chilling statistic, particularly if you’re a parent. Seen through that lens—the fear of something terrible befalling a child—the wariness about dark YA begins to make more sense. Because if your child doesn’t read about death, about abuse, about rape, about suicide, then these terrible things won’t happen to him or her. 'I Was Here' by Gayle Forman

But that is a form of magical thinking, and no matter how well intentioned, it’s wrong. Because books don’t create behaviors. It’s possible they reinforce existing behaviors, but those behaviors are already present, not created by a novel. A novel won’t turn a bookish drama geek into a promiscuous drug abuser any more than it will turn a promiscuous drug abuser into a bookish drama geek, unless the seeds of those transformations were already planted.

What books can do, however, is reflect an experience and show a way out of difficult, isolating times. It’s why Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak has become such a touchstone, giving young women a voice to speak about sexual abuse, or Sherman Alexie’s Part-Time Indian has been a life raft for young people who can’t see their way out of existences straightjacketed by addiction and deprivation. I don’t believe that books, YA or otherwise, have the power to save lives. That’s a bit too grandiose for my thinking, but seeing your experience, your sometimes difficult experiences, reflected can be a powerful incentive to reach out and get the help that could indeed save a life.

I suspect that most teens who read and love “dark” YA have little in common with the struggling characters they relate to. Whenever I ask teenagers why they’re drawn to books like my novel If I Stay—in which the main character loses her family in a car accident—they overwhelmingly say the appeal is seeing an ordinary teen forced into an extraordinary circumstance. Reading about everyday fictional teens rising to the occasion (and, spoiler alert, in YA books they almost always do) allows actual teens to imagine themselves doing the same, within the lower-stakes conflicts and contexts of their own lives. This is empowering, and hopeful, words that I would use to describe many YA books. Even the dark ones. Especially the dark ones. These “dark” books may seem to be about death, about illness, about pain, but really they are about life. The kids get that, even if the adults sometimes, do not.

Some of my favorite “dark” YA books:

(Gayle Forman’s best-selling novel If I Stay was made into a motion picture in 2014. Her latest novel, I Was Here was published in January 2015. )

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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

This 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.

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