Pulitzer Prize winner and "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, D.C.

Pulitzer Prize winner and "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, D.C.

The novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee came out in 1960. It won a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a major Hollywood movie. The book has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and is still taught in classrooms across America. But author Harper Lee faded into the background, never publishing another novel — until now. Last week, word of a newly discovered manuscript, to be published in July, became the biggest literary story in some time. Questions quickly followed about the reclusive 88-year-old author’s health and the role of her lawyer and publishing company. We explore the intrigue over Harper Lee’s first novel in more than a half century.

Guests

  • Charles J. Shields Biographer, author of "Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee."
  • Thomas Mallon Professor and former director of creative writing at George Washington University, author of eight novels, including "Watergate," "Henry and Clara" and "Dewey Defeats Truman." Among his nonfiction books are "A Book of One's Own," "Stolen Words" and "Mrs. Paine's Garage." He's a frequent contributor to "The New Yorker," "The Atlantic Monthly" and other magazines.
  • Dana Williams Professor of African American literature and chair of the English department, Howard University.
  • Alexandra Alter Publishing industry reporter, The New York Times

Highlights

  • Listen 26:04

    Charles Shields on why Truman Capote didn't write "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Did Truman Capote Write "To Kill A Mockingbird?"

Charles J. Shields: 3 Reasons Truman Capote Didn't Write "To Kill A Mockingbird" - The Diane Rehm Show

Some suspect the book was actually written by American author Truman Capote, a childhood friend of Lee's.

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