Harper Lee has apparently heard planet Earth's misgivings about her forthcoming novel and has this to say: "I’m alive and kicking and happy as hell with the reactions of Watchman," she says in a statement put out by publisher HarperCollins, as reported by the Wall Street Journal (both companies are owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp). Adding to the list of voices assuaging concerns is her international rights agent, Andrew Nurnburg, who tells the BBC that in meetings with Lee last fall and last month "she was in great spirits and increasingly excited at the prospect of this novel finally seeing the light of day."
And a friend who visits Lee monthly tells NPR that while Lee never mentioned Go Set a Watchman, she is still sharp mentally. "Does she understand what's going on? If you make her hear, she can understand what's going on," he says. "Can she give informed consent? Absolutely, she can give informed consent. She knows what she likes, who she likes, what she doesn't like." (Read more Harper Lee stories.)