Harper Lee sues literary agent over rights to To Kill a Mockingbird
Reclusive author says Samuel Pinkus took advantage of her failing hearing and eyesight
Harper Lee, author of the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, has sued a literary agent who allegedly tricked her into handing him the copyright to the book.
Lee, 87, says Samuel Pinkus took advantage of her poor hearing and sight to transfer the rights and has failed to respond to licence requests.
She says when her long-time agent, Eugene Winick, fell ill in 2002 his son-in-law, Mr Pinkus, switched several of his clients over to his own company.
Mr Pinkus is alleged to have transferred the rights to secure himself "irrevocable" interest in the book's earnings.
It is further alleged that Mr Pinkus failed to respond to offers on e-book rights and questions relating to the book's 50th anniversary.
The suit, filed in a court in Manhattan, New York, aims to re-assign the book's rights to Lee and recover any commission Mr Pinkus has taken since 2007.
To Kill A Mockingbird was published in 1960, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It has since sold more than 30 million copies.
It tells the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer who defends a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman in depression-era community tainted by racism. Finch is often hailed as an American literary hero and was memorably portrayed by Gregory Peck in the Oscar-winning 1962 film adaptation.
The novel is Lee's only published book. She lives in Monroeville, Alabama, is rarely seen in public and declines almost all interview requests.
Mr Pinkus did not immediately respond to an email from Reuters news agency seeking comment.
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
General election live: Russell Brand endorses Labour (except in Scotland and Brighton)
Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...