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Monday 21 August 2017

Harper Lee 'not being used' over new novel

Harper Lee's agent has said the To Kill A Mockingbird writer is "in full possession of her mental faculties" after it was suggested the 88-year-old was being taken advantage of over the publication of a follow-up to the best-selling book.

Authorities in her native Alabama recently closed their investigation into the issue, saying the reclusive writer had "made it quite clear" she wanted the book published.

The literary world was stunned last month when news of the book - called Go Set A Watchman - emerged and concerns were raised about the extent of Ms Lee's involvement in the project.

The reclusive 88-year-old (inset) suffered a stroke in 2007 and The Washington Post reported "questions have been raised about how much control Lee is exercising" over the new book, which will be published in July.

Her agent Andrew Nurnberg said: "I was surprised to hear that someone had, anonymously, approached the authorities to suggest that Harper Lee was being subjected to 'elder abuse'.

"Having spent quality time with her over the last couple of years, I can categorically state that she is in full possession of her mental faculties."

The novel, written before To Kill A Mockingbird, is certain to become a bestseller alongside the original book which has sold more than 40 million copies.

hnews@herald.ie

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