To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee lived a quiet life in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, eschewing the limelight and resisting efforts to turn her into a tourist attraction.
But Lee died last February at the age of 89, and so local officials and chamber-of-commerce types have launched a big plan to make Monroeville—inspiration for the fictional Macomb in Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel—a kind of Harper Lee theme park, whether Lee would have liked it or not (we're going to go with not).
The multiyear project would include a new museum dedicated to the author as well as a "Harper Lee Trail" linking several properties associated with her and her writings, such as the home she shared with her sister in their later years and replicas of several buildings (long since torn down) that inspired settings in To Kill a Mockingbird.
We're all for honoring a beloved writer who has inspired millions of readers. But isn't there something to be said for paying tribute in a way that stays faithful to the disposition, wishes, and spirit of the actual writer?