5 True Literary One-Hit Wonders

August 7, 2014 12:10 PM

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Last month, a memoir chronicling Marja Mills’s friendship with Harper Lee, The Mockingbird Next Door, hit the bookshelves to immediate controversy. Mills, and her publisher, stated the book was authorized by Harper Lee and her sister, Alice Lee. Harper Lee, who had released a statement denying any connection with the book through her lawyers several years ago, when news of the book first began to circulate, once again signed a statement strongly disavowing any collaboration or ongoing friendship with Mills. “As long as I am alive,” Lee wrote, “any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood.”

Lee’s well-publicized distaste for journalists is longstanding; she hasn’t given an interview (save, possibly, those for Mills’s book, as well as a brief chat with the New York Times in 2006) since 1964. But this seclusion alone isn’t so odd. Lee is in good company -- Salinger, Pynchon -- in avoidin...

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