News of the "new" Harper Lee novel scheduled for July 2015 publication has caused a not-surprising uproar in the publishing industry, and has, to an equal degree, ignited the imaginations of the novel's future readers. I use the words "not surprising" because it is only natural for the skeptics out there to cry foul in the case of an author such as Lee who has been so adamant for her entire adult life that she will be publishing nothing else - ever. Now, skeptics say, such a dramatic shift in her thinking is simply unbelievable. Some go so far as to wonder if advantage is being taken of the author to a degree that it should be characterized as a form of elder abuse.
It is commonly believed that Lee's health, following the stroke that left her deaf and almost blind, has reached the stage at which she is not capable of making financial or "legacy" decisions for herself. Skeptics say that those decisions appear to be in the hands of people who themselves stand to gain financially from publication of a second book - the book's publisher and the lawyer in charge of Lee's affairs. Those same skeptics imply that neither of these parties is much concerned with Lee's final literary reputation when there are big bucks to be harvested from the new book.
At this point, there is no reason to doubt that the book will be published on schedule or that it will sell in huge numbers to libraries and to the public. Readers all over the world are already talking about the book, and it promises to be the major publishing event of year, if not the decade.
Below, are links to several articles about the book announcement and the ethical concerns surrounding its publication (additional article links are included inside these articles):
"Uncollected Thoughts on the New Harper Lee Novel" - by Jeff at Book Riot
"Harper Lee is excited about new book says publisher after skeptics raise doubts" - by Alison Flood in The Guardian
"Harper Lee and the vexed question of who owns an author's legacy" - by Joanna Skutts in The Guardian
"Harper Lee's 'lost' novel was intended to complete a trilogy, says agent" - by Alison Flood in The Guardian