Monday 29 December 2014

To Kill A Mockingbird going digital

Published 28/04/2014 | 11:57

Author Harper Lee has agreed to make To Kill A Mockingbird available as an e-book (AP)
Author Harper Lee has agreed to make To Kill A Mockingbird available as an e-book (AP)

To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has signed on for Scout, Boo Radley and Atticus Finch to enter the electronic age.

Filling one of the biggest gaps in the e-library, To Kill a Mockingbird will become available as an e-book and digital audio book on July 8, HarperCollins Publishers has announced.

Lee, in a rare public statement, cited a "new generation" of fans in agreeing to the downloadable editions of her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic.

"I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries," Lee, 88, said through her publisher. "I am amazed and humbled that 'Mockingbird' has survived this long. This is 'Mockingbird' for a new generation."

The announcement came almost exactly a year after Lee sued her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, in order to regain rights to her novel. Lee, who lives in her native Alabama and has been in frail condition, had alleged she was "duped" into signing over the copyright.

The lawsuit was settled in September. Lee's lawyer, Gloria Phares, said at the time that the case had been resolved to the author's satisfaction, with "her copyright secured to her".

With digital holdouts from JK Rowling to Ray Bradbury changing their minds over the past few years, Lee and her novel had ranked with JD Salinger and his The Catcher In the Rye as a missing prize for e-book fans.

First published in July 1960, "Mockingbird" has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and still sells more than one million copies a year, according to HarperCollins.

It was adapted into a 1962 movie of the same name that featured an Oscar-winning performance by Gregory Peck as Finch, the courageous Alabama lawyer who defends a black man against charges that he raped a white woman.

With To Kill a Mockingbird now set for e-release, major works still unavailable in digital editions include The Catcher In the Rye, The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Press Association

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