Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Did you Know, that Ernest Hemingway was a Russian Spy, thou not a very Good one?

July 21, 1899, Ernest Miller Hemingway, author of such novels as “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea,” was born in Oak Park, Illinois. The influential American literary icon became known for his straightforward prose and use of understatement. Hemingway, who tackled topics such as bullfighting and war in his work, also became famous for his own macho, hard-drinking persona.

Many people are familiar with the fact that after surviving two plane crashes in Africa in 1953, Hemingway became increasingly anxious and depressed. On July 2, 1961, he killed himself with a shotgun at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. (His father had committed suicide in 1928.). However, less know fact is that Hemingway may had at the time other reasons to get depressed, besides the near death experience, and familial predisposition to suicide.

Spying for Russia

In the last few years of his life, Ernest Hemingway grew paranoid and talked about FBI spying on him. He was even treated with electroshock therapy as many as 15 times at the recommendation of his physician in 1960. It was later revealed that he was in fact being watched, and Edgard Hoover had personally placed him under surveillance. In 2009, the publication of Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, revealed that the FBI was in fact right to spy on Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel prize-winning novelist, because he really was on the KGB’s list of its agents in America. Based on notes from a former KGB officer who was given access in the 1990s to intelligence archives in Moscow from the Stalin era, the book reveals that Hemingway was recruited in 1940 before making a trip to China, and was given the cover name “Argo”.

According to Soviet documents, he met with Soviet agents during the 1940s in Havana and London and “repeatedly expressed his desire and willingness to help us”. In the end, Hemingway turned out to be of little use to the Soviets however, as it has claimed he failed to give them any political information and was never “verified in practical work”. By the 1950s, “Argo” was no longer an active Soviet contact. Some project that Hemingway’s escapades as a KGB spy were more likely all part of an elaborate charade by him to gather literary inspiration. Others suspect his paranoia over being watched by the FBI may have led him to take his own life.

But Why?

Though Hemingway was publicly anti-Communist, he maintained some unofficial contacts with the NKVD even before his forma recruitment - from as early as 1935 - and it was his Soviet contacts, that allowed the author to enter Spain for the research, that eventually became For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Given the Hemingway personality and his expressed public views, it is hard to reconcile his decision to work for NKVD with his individualism and many of his statements about communists and communism. He admired a number of communists, and how they fought for their ideals, but he said that he did not subscribe to their ideology. Joyce remembered Hemingway as “apolitical”: “The leftist intellectuals… were angry… because he always refused to enter their “camp”…. [Hemingway said,] “I like communists when they’re soldiers but when they’re priests, I hate them.” He was always particularly contemptuous of the “ideology boys.”

Considering the timing, it is especially hard to reconcile Hemingway’s becoming a spy for the NKVD with his longstanding antifascist views. In January 1941, when Hemingway reportedly accepted the pitch, the Hitler-Stalin pact was still in force; the Nazi and Soviet dictators were allies.

More than 70 years later, it is hard to appreciate what a blow the cynical pact, signed in 1939, had been to many on the left, especially those who had seen Stalin as the only real counterweight to Hitler. Lifelong communists experienced agonizing doubts. More than a few, like Hemingway’s communist friend Regler, abandoned the party. Those who found a way to rationalize the Hitler-Stalin alliance were on their way to qualifying as true believers.

Interesting is the statement of the NKVD station chief in Madrid, Alexander Orlov, who considered Hemingway to be one of these true believers. Well, despite numerous statements and actions to the contrary, Hemingway did occasionally write or talk like a true believer, especially in the cause of antifascism and, by extension, its communist and Soviet supporters. Robert Jordan, the American guerrilla who is the hero of For Whom the Bell Tolls, is disturbed by atrocities on both sides of the Spanish Civil War, to say nothing of the cynical intrigues of at least one communist leader that undermine the war effort. But, for the greater good, he decides to suspend judgment for the duration of the war.

Is Jordan speaking for himself or for Hemingway when he extols the benefits of communist discipline—“the best…and the soundest and sanest for the prosecution of the war”? Then there is Philip Rawlings, the hero in Hemingway’s little-known play The Fifth Column. Rawlings is an American journalist who, behind the scenes, is happy to help a ruthless communist counterintelligence officer uncover fascist spies by spotting them in the cafes and hotels of Madrid, all in order to save the Spanish Republic.

In a remarkable letter dated 13 February 1947 and written in his own handwriting, Hemingway appeared to be speaking for himself when he defended the Soviet Union and its work in Spain. He started with the disclaimer that is familiar to generations of Hemingway readers: “It’s politics I do not agree with.” Then he continued with more passion than logic, sounding like many other true believers on the left who argued that the ends justified the means, to include political killings.

NKVD and Agent Argo

NKVD file on Hemingway reflects the service’s frustration in keeping in touch with the agent. A NKVD operative met with Hemingway twice between September 1943 and April 1944 in Cuba, once in June 1944 in London, and once in April 1945 in Cuba. The NKVD file summarizes Hemingway’s poor record as a Soviet spy: “Our meetings with “Argo” in London and Havana were conducted with the aim of studying him and determining his potential for our work. Through the period of his connection with us, “Argo” did not give us any polit. Information [sic], though he repeatedly expressed his desire and willingness to help us. “Argo” has not been studied thoroughly and is unverified.”

Nevertheless, in spite of the practical use of the author as NKVD spy, his secret affiliation with Russian intelligence service opened the door for his books to the Russian book market, bringing him a great popularity among several generations of the Soviet people.

Sources and Additional Information:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill a Mockingbird #2) by Harper Lee - First Chapter Online

When Harper Lee's lawyer and close friend, Tonja Carter, went combing through the secure archive near the author's Alabama home last fall, she only intended to check on the condition of the original manuscript of Lee's beloved best-seller, To Kill a Mockingbird. What she found was something else entirely: a complete second book, believed to have been lost for more than 50 years.

The discovery, and recent announcement that the uncovered manuscript, Go Set A Watchman, would be published this summer, shocked both the publishing industry and the legions of Lee fans who had long ago given up hope that they'd ever read a new work by the 88-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner. Go Set a Watchman was written before Mockingbird, but takes place about 20 years later, during the civil rights movement. Scout Finch, the precocious 12-year-old narrator of Mockingbird, is now an adult woman who has returned home to Alabama after living and working in New York City.

The first chapter of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ introduces Ms. Lee’s beloved character, Scout, as a sexually liberated woman in her twenties, traveling from New York to Alabama to visit her ailing father and weigh a marriage proposal from a childhood friend. It also includes a bombshell about Scout’s brother.--Jennifer Maloney

Below, the first chapter:

Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical. Over her breakfast coffee, she watched the last of Georgia’s hills recede and the red earth appear, and with it tin-roofed houses set in the middle of swept yards, and in the yards the inevitable verbena grew, surrounded by whitewashed tires. She grinned when she saw her first TV antenna atop an unpainted Negro house; as they multiplied, her joy rose.

Jean Louise Finch always made this journey by air, but she decided to go by train from New York to Maycomb Junction on her fifth annual trip home. For one thing, she had the life scared out of her the last time she was on a plane: the pilot elected to fly through a tornado. For another thing, flying home meant her father rising at three in the morning, driving a hundred miles to meet her in Mobile, and doing a full day’s work afterwards: he was seventy-two now and this was no longer fair.

She was glad she had decided to go by train. Trains had changed since her childhood, and the novelty of the experience amused her: a fat genie of a porter materialized when she pressed a button on a wall; at her bidding a stainless steel washbasin popped out of another wall, and there was a john one could prop one’s feet on. She resolved not to be intimidated by several messages stenciled around her compartment—a roomette, they called it—but when she went to bed the night before, she succeeded in folding herself up into the wall because she had ignored an injunction to PULL THIS LEVER DOWN OVER BRACKETS, a situation remedied by the porter to her embarrassment, as her habit was to sleep only in pajama tops.

Luckily, he happened to be patrolling the corridor when the trap snapped shut with her in it: “I’ll get you out, Miss,” he called in answer to her poundings from within. “No please,” she said. “Just tell me how to get out.” “I can do it with my back turned,” he said, and did.

When she awoke that morning the train was switching and chugging in the Atlanta yards, but in obedience to another sign in her compartment she stayed in bed until College Park flashed by. When she dressed, she put on her Maycomb clothes: gray slacks, a black sleeveless blouse, white socks, and loafers. Although it was four hours away, she could hear her aunt’s sniff of disapproval.

When she was starting on her fourth cup of coffee the Crescent Limited honked like a giant goose at its northbound mate and rumbled across the Chattahoochee into Alabama.

The Chattahoochee is wide, flat, and muddy. It was low today; a yellow sandbar had reduced its flow to a trickle. Perhaps it sings in the wintertime, she thought: I do not remember a line of that poem. Piping down the valleys wild? No. Did he write to a waterfowl, or was it a waterfall?

She sternly repressed a tendency to boisterousness when she reflected that Sidney Lanier must have been somewhat like her long-departed cousin, Joshua Singleton St. Clair, whose private literary preserves stretched from the Black Belt to Bayou La Batre. Jean Louise’s aunt often held up Cousin Joshua to her as a family example not lightly to be discountenanced: he was a splendid figure of a man, he was a poet, he was cut off in his prime, and Jean Louise would do well to remember that he was a credit to the family. His pictures did the family well—Cousin Joshua looked like a ratty Algernon Swinburne.

Jean Louise smiled to herself when she remembered her father telling her the rest of it. Cousin Joshua was cut off, all right, not by the hand of God but by Caesar’s hosts:

When at the University, Cousin Joshua studied too hard and thought too much; in fact, he read himself straight out of the nineteenth century. He affected an Inverness cape and wore jackboots he had a blacksmith make up from his own design. Cousin Joshua was frustrated by the authorities when he fired upon the president of the University, who in his opinion was little more than a sewage disposal expert. This was no doubt true, but an idle excuse for assault with a deadly weapon. After much passing around of money Cousin Joshua was moved across the tracks and placed in state accommodations for the irresponsible, where he remained for the rest of his days. They said he was reasonable in every respect until someone mentioned that president’s name, then his face would become distorted, he would assume a whooping crane attitude and hold it for eight hours or more, and nothing or nobody could make him lower his leg until he forgot about that man. On clear days Cousin Joshua read Greek, and he left a thin volume of verse printed privately by a firm in Tuscaloosa. The poetry was so ahead of its time no one has deciphered it yet, but Jean Louise’s aunt keeps it displayed casually and prominently on a table in the livingroom.

Jean Louise laughed aloud, then looked around to see if anyone had heard her. Her father had a way of undermining his sister’s lectures on the innate superiority of any given Finch: he always told his daughter the rest of it, quietly and solemnly, but Jean Louise sometimes thought she detected an unmistakably profane glint in Atticus Finch’s eyes, or was it merely the light hitting his glasses? She never knew.

The countryside and the train had subsided to a gentle roll, and she could see nothing but pastureland and black cows from window to horizon. She wondered why she had never thought her country beautiful.

The station at Montgomery nestled in an elbow of the Alabama, and when she got off the train to stretch her legs, the returning familiar with its drabness, lights, and curious odors rose to meet her. There is something missing, she thought. Hotboxes, that’s it. A man goes along under the train with a crowbar. There is a clank and then s-sss-sss, white smoke comes up and you think you’re inside a chafing dish. These things run on oil now.

For no reason an ancient fear gnawed her. She had not been in this station for twenty years, but when she was a child and went to the capital with Atticus, she was terrified lest the swaying train plunge down the riverbank and drown them all. But when she boarded again for home, she forgot.

The train clacketed through pine forests and honked derisively at a gaily painted bell-funneled museum piece sidetracked in a clearing. It bore the sign of a lumber concern, and the Crescent Limited could have swallowed it whole with room to spare. Greenville, Evergreen, Maycomb Junction.

She had told the conductor not to forget to let her off, and because the conductor was an elderly man, she anticipated his joke: he would rush at Maycomb Junction like a bat out of hell and stop the train a quarter of a mile past the little station, then when he bade her goodbye he would say he was sorry, he almost forgot. Trains changed; conductors never did. Being funny at flag stops with young ladies was a mark of the profession, and Atticus, who could predict the actions of every conductor from New Orleans to Cincinnati, would be waiting accordingly not six steps away from her point of debarkation.

Home was Maycomb County, a gerrymander some seventy miles long and spreading thirty miles at its widest point, a wilderness dotted with tiny settlements the largest of which was Maycomb, the county seat. Until comparatively recently in its history, Maycomb County was so cut off from the rest of the nation that some of its citizens, unaware of the South’s political predilections over the past ninety years, still voted Republican. No trains went there—Maycomb Junction, a courtesy title, was located in Abbott County, twenty miles away. Bus service was erratic and seemed to go nowhere, but the Federal Government had forced a highway or two through the swamps, thus giving the citizens an opportunity for free egress. But few people took advantage of the roads, and why should they? If you did not want much, there was plenty.

The county and the town were named for a Colonel Mason Maycomb, a man whose misplaced self-confidence and overweening willfulness brought confusion and confoundment to all who rode with him in the Creek Indian Wars. The territory in which he operated was vaguely hilly in the north and flat in the south, on the fringes of the coastal plain. Colonel Maycomb, convinced that Indians hated to fight on flat land, scoured the northern reaches of the territory looking for them. When his general discovered that Maycomb was meandering in the hills while the Creeks were lurking in every pine thicket in the south, he dispatched a friendly Indian runner to Maycomb with the message, Move south, damn you. Maycomb was convinced this was a Creek plot to trap him (was there not a blue-eyed, red-headed devil leading them?), he made the friendly Indian runner his prisoner, and he moved farther north until his forces became hopelessly lost in the forest primeval, where they sat out the wars in considerable bewilderment.

After enough years had passed to convince Colonel Maycomb that the message might have been genuine after all, he began a purposeful march to the south, and on the way his troops encountered settlers moving inland, who told them the Indian Wars were about over. The troops and the settlers were friendly enough to become Jean Louise Finch’s ancestors, and Colonel Maycomb pressed on to what is now Mobile to make sure his exploits were given due credit. Recorded history’s version does not coincide with the truth, but these are the facts, because they were passed down by word of mouth through the years, and every Maycombian knows them.

“. . . get your bags, Miss,” the porter said. Jean Louise followed him from the lounge car to her compartment. She took two dollars from her billfold: one for routine, one for releasing her last night. The train, of course, rushed like a bat out of hell past the station and came to a stop 440 yards beyond it. The conductor appeared, grinning, and said he was sorry, he almost forgot. Jean Louise grinned back and waited impatiently for the porter to put the yellow step in place. He handed her down and she gave him the two bills.

Her father was not waiting for her.

She looked up the track toward the station and saw a tall man standing on the tiny platform. He jumped down and ran to meet her.

He grabbed her in a bear hug, put her from him, kissed her hard on the mouth, then kissed her gently. “Not here, Hank,” she murmured, much pleased.

“Hush, girl,” he said, holding her face in place. “I’ll kiss you on the courthouse steps if I want to.”

The possessor of the right to kiss her on the courthouse steps was Henry Clinton, her lifelong friend, her brother’s comrade, and if he kept on kissing her like that, her husband. Love whom you will but marry your own kind was a dictum amounting to instinct within her. Henry Clinton was Jean Louise’s own kind, and now she did not consider the dictum particularly harsh.

They walked arm-in-arm down the track to collect her suitcase. “How’s Atticus?” she said.

“His hands and shoulders are giving him fits today.”

“He can’t drive when they’re like that, can he?”

Henry closed the fingers of his right hand halfway and said, “He can’t close them any more than this. Miss Alexandra has to tie his shoes and button his shirts when they’re like that. He can’t even hold a razor.”

Jean Louise shook her head. She was too old to rail against the inequity of it, but too young to accept her father’s crippling disease without putting up some kind of fight. “Isn’t there anything they can do?”

“You know there isn’t,” Henry said. “He takes seventy grains of aspirin a day and that’s all.”

Henry picked up her heavy suitcase, and they walked back toward the car. She wondered how she would behave when her time came to hurt day in and day out. Hardly like Atticus: if you asked him how he was feeling he would tell you, but he never complained; his disposition remained the same, so in order to find out how he was feeling, you had to ask him.

The only way Henry found out about it was by accident. One day when they were in the records vault at the courthouse running a land title, Atticus hauled out a heavy mortgage book, turned stark white, and dropped it. “What’s the matter?” Henry had said. “Rheumatoid arthritis. Can you pick it up for me?” said Atticus. Henry asked him how long he’d had it; Atticus said six months. Did Jean Louise know it? No. Then he’d better tell her. “If you tell her she’ll be down here trying to nurse me. The only remedy for this is not to let it beat you.” The subject was closed.

“Want to drive?” said Henry.

“Don’t be silly,” she said. Although she was a respectable driver, she hated to operate anything mechanical more complicated than a safety pin: folding lawn chairs were a source of profound irritation to her; she had never learned to ride a bicycle or use a typewriter; she fished with a pole. Her favorite game was golf because its essential principles consisted of a stick, a small ball, and a state of mind.

With green envy, she watched Henry’s effortless mastery of the automobile. Cars are his servants, she thought. “Power steering? Automatic transmission?” she said.

“You bet,” he said.

“Well, what if everything shuts off and you don’t have any gears to shift. You’d be in trouble then, wouldn’t you?”

“But everything won’t shut off.”

“How do you know?”

“That’s what faith is. Come here.”

Faith in General Motors. She put her head on his shoulder.

“Hank,” she said presently. “What really happened?”

This was an old joke between them. A pink scar started under his right eye, hit the corner of his nose, and ran diagonally across his upper lip. Behind his lip were six false front teeth not even Jean Louise could induce him to take out and show her. He came home from the war with them. A German, more to express his displeasure at the end of the war than anything else, had bashed him in the face with a rifle butt. Jean Louise had chosen to think this a likely story: what with guns that shot over the horizon, B-17s, V-bombs, and the like, Henry had probably not been within spitting distance of the Germans.

“Okay, honey,” he said. “We were down in a cellar in Berlin. Everybody had too much to drink and a fight started—you like to hear the believable, don’t you? Now will you marry me?”

“Not yet.”


“I want to be like Dr. Schweitzer and play until I’m thirty.”

“He played all right,” said Henry grimly.

Jean Louise moved under his arm. “You know what I mean,” she said.


There was no finer young man, said the people of Maycomb, than Henry Clinton. Jean Louise agreed. Henry was from the southern end of the county. His father had left his mother soon after Henry was born, and she worked night and day in her little crossroads store to send Henry through the Maycomb public schools. Henry, from the time he was twelve, boarded across the street from the Finch house, and this in itself put him on a higher plane: he was his own master, free from the authority of cooks, yardmen, and parents. He was also four years her senior, which made a difference then. He teased her; she adored him. When he was fourteen his mother died, leaving him next to nothing. Atticus Finch looked after what little money there was from the sale of the store—her funeral expenses took most of it—he secretly supplemented it with money of his own, and got Henry a job clerking in the Jitney Jungle after school. Henry graduated and went into the Army, and after the war he went to the University and studied law.

Just about that time, Jean Louise’s brother dropped dead in his tracks one day, and after the nightmare of that was over, Atticus, who had always thought of leaving his practice to his son, looked around for another young man. It was natural for him to engage Henry, and in due course Henry became Atticus’s legman, his eyes, and his hands. Henry had always respected Atticus Finch; soon it melded to affection and Henry regarded him as a father.

He did not regard Jean Louise as a sister. In the years when he was away at the war and the University, she had turned from an overalled, fractious, gun-slinging creature into a reasonable facsimile of a human being. He began dating her on her annual two-week visits home, and although she still moved like a thirteen-year-old boy and abjured most feminine adornment, he found something so intensely feminine about her that he fell in love. She was easy to look at and easy to be with most of the time, but she was in no sense of the word an easy person. She was afflicted with a restlessness of spirit he could not guess at, but he knew she was the one for him. He would protect her; he would marry her.

“Tired of New York?” he said.


“Give me a free hand for these two weeks and I’ll make you tired of it.”

“Is that an improper suggestion?”


“Go to hell, then.”

Henry stopped the car. He turned off the ignition switch, slewed around, and looked at her. She knew when he became serious about something: his crew cut bristled like an angry brush, his face colored, its scar reddened.

“Honey, do you want me to put it like a gentleman? Miss Jean Louise, I have now reached an economic status that can provide for the support of two. I, like Israel of Old, have labored seven years in the vineyards of the University and the pastures of your daddy’s office for you—”

“I’ll tell Atticus to make it seven more.”


“Besides,” she said, “it was Jacob anyway. No, they were the same. They always changed their names every third verse. How’s Aunty?”

“You know good and well she’s been fine for thirty years. Don’t change the subject.”

Jean Louise’s eyebrows flickered. “Henry,” she said primly, “I’ll have an affair with you but I won’t marry you.”

It was exactly right.

“Don’t be such a damn child, Jean Louise!” Henry sputtered, and forgetting the latest dispensations from General Motors, grabbed for a gearshift and stomped at a clutch. These denied him, he wrenched the ignition key violently, pressed some buttons, and the big car glided slowly and smoothly down the highway.

“Slow pickup, isn’t it?” she said. “No good for city driving.”

Henry glared at her. “What do you mean by that?”

In another minute this would become a quarrel. He was serious. She’d better make him furious, thus silent, so she could think about it.

“Where’d you get that appalling tie?” she said.


She was almost in love with him. No, that’s impossible, she thought: either you are or you aren’t. Love’s the only thing in this world that is unequivocal. There are different kinds of love, certainly, but it’s a you-do or you-don’t proposition with them all.

She was a person who, when confronted with an easy way out, always took the hard way. The easy way out of this would be to marry Hank and let him labor for her. After a few years, when the children were waist-high, the man would come along whom she should have married in the first place. There would be searchings of hearts, fevers and frets, long looks at each other on the post office steps, and misery for everybody. The hollering and the high-mindedness over, all that would be left would be another shabby little affair à la the Birmingham country club set, and a self-constructed private Gehenna with the latest Westinghouse appliances. Hank didn’t deserve that.

No. For the present she would pursue the stony path of spinsterhood. She set about restoring peace with honor:

“Honey, I’m sorry, truly sorry,” she said, and she was.

“That’s okay,” said Henry, and slapped her knee. “It’s just that I could kill you sometimes.”

“I know I’m hateful.”

Henry looked at her. “You’re an odd one, sweet. You can’t dissemble.”

She looked at him. “What are you talking about?”

“Well, as a general rule, most women, before they’ve got ’em, present to their men smiling, agreeing faces. They hide their thoughts. You now, when you’re feeling hateful, honey, you are hateful.”

“Isn’t it fairer for a man to be able to see what he’s letting himself in for?”

“Yes, but don’t you see you’ll never catch a man that way?”

She bit her tongue on the obvious, and said, “How do I go about being an enchantress?”

Henry warmed to his subject. At thirty, he was an adviser. Maybe because he was a lawyer. “First,” he said dispassionately, “hold your tongue. Don’t argue with a man, especially when you know you can beat him. Smile a lot. Make him feel big. Tell him how wonderful he is, and wait on him.”

She smiled brilliantly and said, “Hank, I agree with everything you’ve said. You are the most perspicacious individual I’ve met in years, you are six feet five, and may I light your cigarette? How’s that?”


They were friends again.

— Excerpted from Ms. Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ to be published July 14 by HarperCollins

Intrigue and Controversy

To add spices to the epic discovery, it is not without controversy or complications. Harper Lee's sister Alice Lee, who ferociously protected Harper Lee's estate (and person) from unwanted outside attention as a lawyer and advocate for decades, passed away late last year, leaving the intensely private author (who herself is reportedly in ill health) vulnerable to people who may not have her best interests at heart.

Tonja Carter, Harper Lee's attorney since Alice Lee retired at the age of 100, acknowledges that the author—who was left forgetful and nearly blind and deaf after a stroke in 2007—often does not understand the contracts that she signs. "Lee has a history of signing whatever's put in front of her, apparently sometimes with Carter's advice," Gawker's Michelle Dean reported last July.

"The existence of 'Go Set a Watchman' was unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift," said HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham in a statement.

But was the gift willingly given?

"After much thought and hesitation I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication," Lee said in a statement of her own. "I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years."

That might seem like confirmation of Lee's willing involvement in Go Set a Watchman's publication, except for the fact that we know about Lee's messy relationship with her attorney (who, again, often gets her to sign things that she does not understand) and Lee's own publicity-shy character.

Lee once told Oprah over lunch that she hated being compared to To Kill a Mockingbird's spunky protagonist Scout Finch. "I'm really Boo," she said, referring to the reclusive hero whose actions—by the grace of Atticus Finch (and the benevolent Heck Tate)—were allowed to go unpublicized.

In the past, Lee affectionately referred to her sister Alice as "Atticus in a skirt." Not just because she was an amazing lawyer, but because she was the protector who shielded Harper Lee from the publishing world and press attention that she was so adamantly repelled by. But now Alice—her Atticus—is gone and an unhealthy and unstable Lee must alone face the publishers, interviewers and literary agents that she's spent her entire life avoiding.

Sources and Additional Information: