MONROEVILLE, Ala., April 3 (UPI) -- An investigation by officials in Alabama found To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee was not manipulated into publishing a sequel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
More than 50 years after releasing her only novel, the 88-year-old announced in February she is publishing a second novel, Go Set a Watchman.
The news had some wondering if Lee, who lives in an assisted living facility and has severe hearing and vision impairments, might have been coerced into agreeing to publish the sequel.
Investigations by the Alabama Department of Human Resources and the Alabama Securities Commission both found Lee to be competent and aware of the decision she has made.
Joseph Borg, the commission's director, said after interviewing Lee, his investigators found "she has opinions and seems to be aware of what is going on with her book and the book deal."
Lee's lawyer, Tonja B. Carter, was responsible for rediscovering the manuscript for Go Set a Watchman, which was the first book Lee wrote.
"It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout's childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became To Kill a Mockingbird) from the point of view of the young Scout," she said. "I was a first-time writer so I did as I was told."
The earlier book featuring an older Scout was never published, but over the years, Lee said she was happy to have released just one novel.
Lee released a statement in February saying she was "extremely hurt and humiliated" to learn some people thought she wasn't lucid enough to make her own decisions.
Go Set a Watchman is set to be published by HarperCollins in July.