The news last month that Harper Lee would be publishing a second book was met with a brief blip of exultation followed by skepticism from fans of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Why would the 88-year-old author, a woman so publicity-averse she once compared herself to the reclusive Boo Radley from her novel, have agreed to the publication of a “Mockingbird” predecessor she tabled more than 50 years ago?
Many concluded that Lee, who resides in an assisted-living facility and is said to be in declining health, could not have knowingly consented to a new novel, entitled “Go Set a Watchman.”
Now, the New York Times reported Wednesday night, at least one complaint about potential elder abuse has been filed, and Alabama state officials are investigating the claims.
The Times report said investigators for the state’s Human Resources Department and the Alabama Securities Commission, tasked with preventing financial fraud against the elderly, interviewed Lee last month. They also spoke to employees of the facility where she lives, as well as to several friends.