The announcement coincided with the 88th birthday of the reclusive
author, who described the digital version set to be released on July
8 as "Mockingbird for a new generation."
"I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries," Lee
said in a rare public statement.
The book, first published in 1960, has sold more than 30 million
copies and is available in 40 languages worldwide. According to
HarperCollins Publishers, it still sells around one million copies a
"Every home has a dog-eared copy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' and now
readers will be able to add this favorite book to their digital
libraries," said Michael Morrison, president and publisher of
HarperCollins U.S. General Books Group and Canada.
The book was adapted to a movie in 1962 starring Gregory Peck, who
played the novel's main character, Atticus Finch, a white lawyer who
defends an African-American man wrongly accused of rape during the
1930s "Jim Crow" era.
The movie won three Academy Awards and is considered by the American
Film Institute as one of the best films of all time.
The release of the e-book comes nearly a year after Lee sued her
former literary agent over an alleged scheme to trick her into
signing away the copyright to her novel. She later reached a
In February, Lee also settled another lawsuit with a museum in her
hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, which she accused of illegally
profiting from the book, the only novel Lee ever published.
(Editing by Kevin Gray and G. Crosse)
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