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Second Harper Lee novel to be released in July


Fez

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Eh, I ended up writing a review late tonight.  Although it's not as spoiler-laden as the print reviews, there might be a few revelations in there for those who don't like this sort of thing, so click on the review if you don't mind such things.

 

Bravo, excellent review.

 

Thank you for writing it.

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People keep assuming she is not of sane mind or body, but I haven't seen anything in here rebut the State investigation with anything by conclusory statements (e.g., she's not of sound mind ergo the State investigation was incompetent).

I don't have any strong opinions one way or another on this topic, though the story about signing away rights seven years ago plus the memory loss seem like strong a priori indications she isn't all there.

Has anyone seen a rational criticism of the state investigation?

 

Does the question need to be resolved?  She is probably competent to say she wants to be left alone.  But people may be right in suspecting that any "approval" she gave to the current publication is not particularly meaningful.

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Does the question need to be resolved?  She is probably competent to say she wants to be left alone.  But people may be right in suspecting that any "approval" she gave to the current publication is not particularly meaningful.

I can tell you that the question absolutely needs to be resolved in order for me to read this book. As it stands now, all evidence points to the conclusion that this woman has been taken advantage of. Again, I see no difference in reading this book than looking at hacked nude photos on the internet at this point. If I am proved wrong, I will revise my stance, but so far absolutely nothing points me there.

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I can tell you that the question absolutely needs to be resolved in order for me to read this book. As it stands now, all evidence points to the conclusion that this woman has been taken advantage of. Again, I see no difference in reading this book than looking at hacked nude photos on the internet at this point. If I am proved wrong, I will revise my stance, but so far absolutely nothing points me there.

 

Except that multiple state agencies were involved in investigating whether Lee is being financially exploited or taken advantage of or lacks the capacity to make the decision to release the book and the consensus of people who have actually met with and interviewed Lee is that she is not being financially exploited or taken advantage of.

 

So you have these first hand investigative findings on the one hand, and pure, unbridled, irresponsible speculation on the other. 

 

Obviously you choose to believe the latter. What you consider to be "all evidence" is, in fact, absolutely "no evidence at all." 

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Except that multiple state agencies were involved in investigating whether Lee is being financially exploited or taken advantage of or lacks the capacity to make the decision to release the book and the consensus of people who have actually met with and interviewed Lee is that she is not being financially exploited or taken advantage of.

 

So you have these first hand investigative findings on the one hand, and pure, unbridled, irresponsible speculation on the other. 

 

Obviously you choose to believe the latter. What you consider to be "all evidence" is, in fact, absolutely "no evidence at all." 

If you mean one person talking to her from the state and then closing the case when you say "multiple state agencies" then you would be right. I'm sure that they also followed the money, and were satisfied that the publisher and lawyer was paying her a cut. 

 

That doesn't negate that what was published was rejected by her over 50 years ago, and she has gone on public record her entire life saying that she would not publish another book because she said all she wanted to say in the first one. It also doesn't explain how several people have come forward and said that Tonja Carter, her lawyer, had knowledge of this manuscript in 2011 but is now saying she just discovered it last year.   

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That doesn't negate that what was published was rejected by her over 50 years ago, and she has gone on public record her entire life saying that she would not publish another book because she said all she wanted to say in the first one. It also doesn't explain how several people have come forward and said that Tonja Carter, her lawyer, had knowledge of this manuscript in 2011 but is now saying she just discovered it last year. 

 

My only point here is there's nothing remotely abnormal about someone changing their mind, even after a long period where one holds a different view. Changes in behavior after decades of different behavior isn't remotely strange, be it by the elderly or the middle aged or otherwise.

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My only point here is there's nothing remotely abnormal about someone changing their mind, even after a long period where one holds a different view. Changes in behavior after decades of different behavior isn't remotely strange, be it by the elderly or the middle aged or otherwise.

Yes, but when that change of behavior happens after she had a stroke and was left blind and deaf with dementia, it is certainly prudent to ask why this may be. Couple this with the fact that this manuscript didn't get "found" until after the death of Alice Lee who had supported Harper in her decision to not publish makes things a little suspect.

 

Now, add in that people are saying Tonja Carter's story about what happened in 2011 when she opened the safety deposit box that contained this story around several witnesses doesn't match up to what they saw transpire, and you have a pretty compelling case that Harper Lee is being taken advantage of.   

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Ok, we get it. You won't read the book on your subjective opinion. Still the book is out there for the world to read and for countless people it's brought a joy to them and for others perhaps it's tarnished her legacy. Fact is, the book is out there for YOUR choice to read or not read. The general public probably will never get the real story of whether she is ok or has no idea what is going on. So you choose not to read the book based on the circumstances and facts you have at your disposable. Again it's your subjective opinion and I could care less if you read or not read it. Good for you. For me personally, I have not read either book or really have the interest to read either book. Not my thing. What I do think is great is that a book has generated this much excitement for people to want to read a book and perhaps for many even start a lifelong passion for reading and books. Who knows. It's great to see a book get so much press though.
I will say this though, if you have read, for example, Kafka then you've just totally contradicted everything you've stated in here because he explicitly stated in his will to destroy all his writings upon his death, and instead the man entrusted to carry out that wish published the material for all the world to enjoy and if he had carried out that wish Kafka would never have been the literary giant he is today and you reading his material went against his wishes. Food for thought.
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