The world has waited 54 years for internationally-renowned author Harper Lee to release a new novel and now, thanks to an Alabama lawyer, that wait is over.
Folklaw thinks it is only fitting that the midwife of the long-anticipated text belongs to the same profession as Scout’s hero, her father, Atticus Finch.
Tonja Brooks Carter is very close to the Lee family and is also helping the author liaise with her publishers. She was the lawyer of Harper's sister, Alice Lee, who died recently at the age of 103.
Harper’s editor at HarperCollins Publishers, Hugh Van Dusen, spoke to New York Magazine about the the lawyer's discovery, saying that, in the version of the story he was told, the book was kept in a safe deposit box or a bank vault wrapped in a manuscript of To Kill a Mockingbird.
“Nobody noticed it for all these years. I don’t know this for a fact, but one must imagine that Harper Lee … just never told anybody about the book and then forgot it existed,” she said.
HarperCollins Publishers plans to publish Go Set a Watchman in mid-July. The book tells the story of Scout’s later life but was written before To Kill a Mockingbird.
Tonja started working at Alice’s law firm, Barnett, Bugg, Lee & Carter, shortly after graduating in 2006. She also played a role in a law suit filed against Harper’s former agent Samuel Pinkus in 2013. Samuel was allegedly involved in a plot to dupe Harper into handing over the copyright of To Kill a Mockingbird without compensation.
Harper has, to date, published only one book during her lifetime but was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature.
A very private woman, Harper has made very few public appearances and declined almost all interview requests. She is now 88-years old and lives in an assisted-living facility in Monroeville, Alabama due to her difficulty hearing and seeing.