Signed copy of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ sells for $25,000
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A copy of the Harper Lee classic ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ sold on the website AbeBooks for $25,000 last week. It was a first edition, signed by the author herself.
When ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was published in 1960, Lee was living in New York City, like many other authors. But she later moved back to Alabama and withdrew from mainstream publishing. For many years, Lee has declined interviews and lived a quiet life away from the spotlight. When she was awarded the National Medal of Arts earlier this year, she did not attend.
Lee’s reclusiveness certainly contributed to the $25,000 price tag on this signed first edition of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ According to AbeBooks, it’s the most expensive copy of the novel it has ever sold and tops the price list of books sold through the site this year. AbeBooks aggregates offerings from hundreds of sellers of used books.
Harper Lee has, from time to time, appeared at events celebrating books and reading. In 2005, she came to Los Angeles to accept the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award.
But recently she has been closely guarding her privacy. An upcoming book -- ‘The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee,’ by Marja Mills, a former Chicago Tribune reporter -- was said to be written ‘with direct access to Harper and Alice Lee [her sister] and their friends and family.’ In a written statement, Lee said she had not cooperated with the book: ‘Contrary to recent news reports, I have not willingly participated in any book written or to be written by Marja Mills. Neither have I authorized such a book. Any claims otherwise are false.’
Harper Lee turned 85 last month. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is 51.
-- Carolyn Kellogg