Harper Lee misses induction into Ala. Writers Hall of Fame

Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
This March 14, 1963 file photo shows Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "To kill a Mockingbird." Publisher Harper announced Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, that "Go Set a Watchman," a novel Lee completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be released July 14. It will be her second published book. (AP Photo, File)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee missed her induction as an inaugural member of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame just weeks before the release of her second book.

Organizers say the 89-year-old Lee couldn’t attend the event held Monday night in Tuscaloosa.

There was no other explanation for Lee’s absence, but she only rarely makes public appearances. The author is in declining health and lives in an assisted-living home 150 miles away in the south Alabama town of Monroeville.

Lee and 11 other writers were honored as the hall’s first class.

Lee’s second book, “Go Set a Watchman,” is being released in July. It was written before the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Mockingbird” but takes place 20 years later.

Lee’s agreement to release the book stunned the literary world.

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