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Will new book kill Mockingbird's legacy?

IF author Harper Lee, pictured, was likened to pop star, she would be the Vanilla Ice of the literary world - a one hit wonder.

For more than half a century the creator of To Kill A Mockingbird has been an enigma living in self imposed exile for more than 50 years. The fact that there was no follow up book to her classic novel only served to enhance its story and Lee's standing.

However, it has been now been revealed the American did have another book already written - a sort of sequel to Mockingbird.

Initially the news sent fans into a tailspin as they clamoured to be one of the lucky two million to get their hands on a first edition when Go Set A Watchman is published in July.

But despite the initial furore many quickly began to question whether they actually wanted a second book with fearing that it would undermine Mockingbird.

Lee doesn't need the money, nor has she renewed her interest in fame.

As far back as 1961 when Mockingbird was printed she said she had said everything she had wanted to say so why this now? "People who write for reward by way of recognition or monetary gain don't know what they're doing," she once said.

"They're in the category of those who write; they are not writers."

Strolling through her hometown in Alabama this week many suggested to me the book's release had been driven by others for their own, mainly financial, gain.

Lee, now 88, once said she felt she was less like Mockingbord's main character, young Scout Finch, and more like Boo Radley, the book's intensely reclusive, but benevolent, loner.

We can only hope that, unlike Mr Radley, she's been coaxed out of her own wilderness willingly.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 19, 2015
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