Was it Harper Lee’s own decision to publish the sequel to her famous book, To Kill a Mocking Bird? It doesn’t seem so.
“I don’t think she agreed to do it. I think it’s her attorney being greedy…,” Janet Sawyer says in a report to AL.com. Janet is the owner of Courthouse Café in Manroeville and a close acquaintance of Lee.
According to the residents of Manroeville, where Lee has lived for the most part of her life, the author is not in a sufficient mental state to make such decisions.
After the demise of her sister, Alice Lee, she has been under the supervision of Manroeville’s lawyer Tonja Carter, who has claimed power of attorney and controls most of her affairs.
According to the reports by residents of the town, Carter has denied Lee any access to her family and friends. She has also been isolated from any social life by Carter, they allege.
Four very close friends of Lee, who have seen her through the years, strongly deny that she could have made such a decision. They claim that they have repeatedly heard the writer say that she did not want to publish the second book as she did not want the limelight.
Lee lives on the outskirts of the town now and is not allowed to meet anyone without Carter’s approval, say the residents. The house has a few employees to assist Lee. Any visitor, who wants to meet Lee, is asked to leave a message by the staff.
The 88-year old author got a stroke a few years ago after which her mental health was deeply affected. She has been mostly seen in a wheelchair after the incident.
“Carter wants to manipulate her funds,” Sawyer alleges in the report. The decision of publishing Go Set a Watchman, sequel to the famous book which was also adapted into a Hollywood film, was allegedly made by Carter alone.
The publisher has also released a statement, apparently by Lee.
“I hadn’t realised it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it,” the statement said about the manuscript of the sequel.
“It seems out of character for how we have known her,” claims Lee’s friend Diane Simmons in the report