As you will recall, the lawyer who handles the affairs for Harper Lee floated the idea over the summer than there might even by a third novel out there. This fine barrister, Tonja Carter, felt the need to call in an expert to determine if the manuscript pages she found were, indeed, a new novel. Sadly for Ms. Carter, and all the millions of dollars she envisioned flowing towards her, the expert would not play along. The expert, James S. Jaffe, found that the manuscript was just another version of To Kill A Mockingbird. It is nice to see one person with some integrity involved in this sordid mess. So, at least until Ms. Carter finds another manuscript in Harper Lee's cookie jar, this should be the end of any additional titles coming out.
News Flash: Now there is talk of another Harper Lee book, this one a true crime story.
The most interesting question for Ms. Carter might be this: if Harper Lee is really in her right mind, why did you have to bring in Mr. Jaffe? Why didn't Mr. Jaffe speak with Harper Lee? I mean, isn't that the most straight-forward way to address the question of the third novel? Did Harper Lee go from compos mentis to addled as soon as the checks started coming in for Go Set A Watchman?
If Carter is pulling these sorts of stunts while poor Harper Lee is still alive, I wonder what happens when Harper Lee dies? I wonder just how many books Carter has that she will attribute to Harper Lee. This is a disgusting saga that highlights the worst of human behavior. Ms. Carter, can you heed the words of Joseph N. Welch from all those years ago: Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
NYT Article On Harper Lee's Putative Third Novel
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