Harper Lee Finally Agrees to Digital Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird

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Grab your ham suit and celebrate! A whole new generation is about to learn their Mockingbirds from their Mockingjays: in honor of her 88th birthday, Harper Lee announced this morning that To Kill A Mockingbird will be available this summer as an ebook and digital audiobook.

Lee is notoriously protective of her only published work, even suing her former publisher last year over claims she had been tricked into signing over the classic’s copyright. The suit was settled last September and this morning, Lee made the surprising announcement, saying via her publisher:

I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. I am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived this long. This is Mockingbird for a new generation.

Michael Morrison of HarperCollins says To Kill A Mockingbird‘s digital audio and ebook edition, available July 8th, will be a huge boon to this generation’s tech savvy bookworms:

Every home has a dog-eared copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, and now readers will be able to add this favourite book to their digital libraries. Although today is Nelle Harper Lee’s birthday, she is giving readers around the world the gift of being able to read or listen to this extraordinary story in all formats.

The Guardian reports that recent years have seen a general reversal of opinion from authors over offering their works in a digital format. J.K. Rowling initially resisted the medium but changed her mind in 2011, and digital copies of Ray Bradbury’s books weren’t available until 2013, nearly a year after his death. Coveted holdouts still include Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude and J.D. Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye.

Although, to be honest, if I’m going to attempt an impressive literary undertaking like 100 Years, I’d prefer a showy, old-fashioned hardcover to the inconspicuousness of an e-reader. People on the subway need to know I’m intellectual.

(via The Guardian, image via To Kill A Mockingbird)

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