Speaking with The New York Times, Harper Lee’s lawyer Tonja Carter said Lee is “extremely hurt and humiliated” by the suggestion that Lee had somehow been tricked into publishing Go Set a Watchman.
Go Set a Watchman—which was written before To Kill a Mockingbird, but features an adult Scout—is set to be released in July. However, news of the book’s existence and publication last week raised eyebrows. When interviewing Lee’s editor Hugh Van Dusen for Vulture, David Marchese noted, for instance: “It’s easy to be skeptical about her willingness to publish a book that had been forgotten for 55 years.” Writing for the Times, Alexandra Alter and Serge F. Kovaleski that while people close to Lee deny such claims, “residents of Monroeville gossip that Ms. Lee is mentally infirm these days, does not recognize old friends, could not possibly have signed off on the publication, never wanted to do a second book.”
Carter, however, told the Times that Lee, who lives in an assisted-living center, is “is a very strong, independent and wise woman who should be enjoying the discovery of her long lost novel,” adding “instead, she is having to defend her own credibility and decision making.”
Meanwhile, social media has picked up on what could be the cover for the novel.
Update: A representative for Harper Collins told EW that that image is not in fact the cover.
This post has been updated to clarify that Lee was “hurt and humiliated” rather than Carter.