Harper Lee has signed on for Scout, Boo Radley and Atticus Finch to enter the electronic age.
Filling one of the biggest gaps in the e-library, To Kill a Mockingbird will become available as an e-book and digital audiobook on July 8, HarperCollins Publishers announced Monday. Lee, in a rare public statement, cited a "new generation" of fans in agreeing to the downloadable editions of her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic.
"I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries," Lee, who turned 88 on Monday, said through her publisher. "I am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived this long. This is Mockingbird for a new generation."
The announcement came a year after Lee sued her former literary agent, Samuel Pinkus, to regain rights to her novel. Lee, who lives in her native Alabama and has been in frail condition, had alleged she was "duped" into signing over the copyright.
The suit was settled in September. Lee's attorney, Gloria Phares, said then that the case was resolved to the author's satisfaction, with "her copyright secured to her."
With digital holdouts from J.K. Rowling to Ray Bradbury changing their minds over the past few years, Lee and her novel had ranked with J.D. Salinger and his The Catcher in the Rye as a missing prize for e-book fans.
First published in July 1960, Mockingbird was adapted into a 1962 movie of the same name that featured an Oscar-winning performance by Gregory Peck as Finch, the courageous Alabama attorney who defends a black man against charges that he raped a white woman.
Lee never published another book, which only seemed to add to the novel's appeal, and she has for decades resisted interviews and public appearances.