image

Listen to a Rare 1964 Interview with Harper Lee

Harper Lee, the author To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, was famous for her reclusive nature. But before withdrawing entirely from media attention in the mid-60s, Lee gave a rare interview for WQXR, a New York radio station. Now, that interview is available to the public through UCLA.

UCLA’s archive doesn’t allow us to embed the interview, but you can listen to it right now by clicking on this link or the one in the tweet below.

In the 11-minute interview with Roy Newquist, Harper Lee discusses her surprise at the success of To Kill a Mockingbird and hints at a new novel, which would never arrive (Lee’s only other novel, 2015’s Go Set a Watchman, was actually written before To Kill a Mockingbird).

This interview is one of only a few ever given by Lee. It appears in print in Newquist’s autobiography, and the print version is available in various corners of the Internet. This audio version, however, is a rare treasure. The recording captures Harper Lee’s Southern accent, which was so rarely heard by reporters and fans over the course of the author’s life.

Harper Lee passed away just last week. She was 89 years old.