On February 29, 2016 Tonja Carter, the estate lawyer and trustee for Harper Lee who replaced Alice Lee after her death in 2014, asked, through the legal firm representing her, an Alabama court to seal Harper Lee’s will from the public, claiming that Harper Lee wanted the same privacy in death that she made sure, for as long as she was able, in life.
On March 4, 2016 Monroe County, Alabama Probate Judge Greg Norris granted the request.
Nelle Harper Lee wrote a seminal work of fiction in the 20th century: To Kill A Mockingbird. It would be the only published work the Alabama author would give to the world, but it was more than enough.
The book was ground-breaking in so many ways. Published at a time (1960) when the eyes of America, and indeed the world, were focused on civil rights in the South, where the shameful ugliness of racism was brought front and center into the living rooms of millions of people and its dastardly proponents – Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, and the Ku Klux Klan, to name just a few – spewed their vitriol in thick-tongued, ignorant voices that I sincerely hope (a lot of this happened, including this book, before I was born) embarrassed and discomfited most Southerners, To Kill A Mockingbird showed a decent South, a fair South, a kind South, and a principled South in stark contrast to what was played out as the South in the rest of the media.Continue reading →