The Real Boo Radley Leaves A Present In the Tree


Harper Lee, who has the honor of being Saddam Hussein's favorite author, breaks her silence to do a good deed. The beloved one-hit wonder has signed a copy of her sole novel to raise money for the brain-damaged son of the police chief in Cookeville, Tenn.

"Try Swann," Lee writes in an enclosed note to her beneficiaries. "Some friends put their first edition up for auction with them and the book went for $18,000, and was in fairly tattered shape. Your copy is pristine by comparison… (If you don't have success with the first edition, sell this!)"

Clearly, Lee has some understanding of the power of her mystique, which raises the question of why she doesn't get more props as a literary recluse than J.D. Salinger, whose low profile always seems so narcissistic. Could it be that everybody suspects she's not really the author of To Kill A Mockingbird?