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Truman Capote
Harper Lee: What's wrong with a one-hit wonder?
Harper Lee: What's wrong with a one-hit wonder?

I’m not sure what to make of Casey N. Cep’s piece about Harper Lee’s abandoned true-crime book over at the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog. On the one hand, it tells a fascinating story of a potential mass murderer, who was protected by his status as a preacher. On the other, it suggests something disquieting about Lee in the decades after “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In the late 1970s, Cep writes, Lee moved to Alexander City, Ala., to research a novel called “The Reverend” that had at its center the figure of Willie Maxwell, a pastor shot to death at his stepdaughter’s funeral. (He was a suspect in her murder.) Maxwell, it is said,...

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