“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself... It's a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.”
Harper Lee28 April 1926
Curious facts about
Lee, who suffered a stroke in 2007, has ongoing health issues that include hearing loss, limited vision and problems with her short-term memory. All this made some wonder whether the author truly wanted to publish Go Set a Watchman, as for years she'd been happy without putting out another book.
Lee may have become a multimillionaire thanks to Mockingbird, but the money didn’t change her lifestyle. She had a modest apartment in New York City, and got around by bus while in town. When she returned to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama (traveling by train), Lee lived in a one-story ranch house with her sister Alice. Clothes shopping there was usually done at Walmart or a Vanity Fair outlet; Lee traveled to the laundromat in the next town when she needed something clean to wear.
In the years following To Kill a Mockingbird's release, a rumor began that Lee's longtime friend Truman Capote was the true mind behind the novel. After all, Capote was a successful author who'd written Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1966), while Lee didn't publish another book after Mockingbird (until now).