Mockingbird’s 50th Call

Yesterday Harper Lee’s one and only book, To Kill a Mockingbird, turned 50, but the famously feisty author shows no signs of coming out of self-imposed exile.

The BBC reports that the last request for an interview several decades ago was met with “Hell, no” from Lee. The 80-year-old had once confided to her local Baptist minister (who in turn glibly chatted with the BBC) that she felt no need to write another book because she “would not go through all the deprivation of privacy through which I went for this book again for any amount of money.”

Publisher HarperCollins went into hyperdrive to promote the book’s anniversary with 50th anniversary site promoting events around the US plus an audio recording of the American classic by Sissy Spacek.

Lee was encouraged to write her novel by her schoolmate Truman Capote, who’s influence she acknowledged by basing the oddball character of Dill on the author of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Unlike Capote who struggled to follow-up the success of his early books, Lee claims to have never wanted to write more than To Kill a Mockingbird.

The BBC reports that she told her minister “I said what I wanted to say in that book.” There’s no reports of Lee lighting even a single candle to celebrate her book’s milestone.

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