03/05/2015 02:37 pm ET Updated Mar 05, 2015

Harper Lee To Journalist: 'Go Away!'

Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Harper Lee, the media-averse author of To Kill A Mockingbird, has been in the spotlight more than she'd like recently. Last month, her publisher announced that a prequel to her classic -- titled Go Set a Watchmen and narrated by an adult Scout -- is slated to publish later this year. The news came as a surprise to fans of the author, who has stated explicitly that she doesn't plan to release another novel.

The news has also spurred a resurgent interest in Lee, who seems to decline contact with journalists on principle. But that hasn't kept some from trying. While most attempts to reach out result in crickets, one Alabama reporter finally got a written response from Lee: his crumpled letters, with "Go away!" scrawled across them.

Connor Sheets, a reporter for, wrote about the correspondence for the site:

I hoped she would confirm that she is in fact lucid and fully in control of the destiny of Go Set a Watchman. ... I hoped she would help clear up all the questions the world has been waiting to have answered about the circumstances of the book's planned release. [...] It appears that Nelle, as her friends call her, is very much with it, that she is still lucid and that her acerbic, press-averse side is fully intact.

If Sheets's interpretation is to be believed, then perhaps Lee's publisher is correct that the author is "happy as hell" about her forthcoming novel.



11 Incredible Tall Tales