Harper Lee was a really good writer — of letters

It turns out Harper Lee was a more prolific writer than everybody assumed.

The 89-year-old author died last Friday in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala., just seven months after the publication of her second novel,"Go Set a Watchman." It had been 55 years since "To Kill a Mockingbird" came out, and in that time, Lee had almost disappeared from view, making no public appearances and turning down all interview requests.

But some lucky folks got letters from her. After the AJC wrote about two of them on Sunday, a third recipient raised his hand. Stuart Noel, an associate dean and professor of English at Georgia State University, said he wrote to Lee in October 2003 to request an interview for a book he was working on. She turned him down — heck, she turned everybody down — but at least she had the good Southern manners to write back.

“Within a week she sent this letter to me — something I will always treasure,” Noel said in an email, where he included a copy of the handwritten missive.

“I do feel strongly about biographies of the living,” Lee wrote. “After all, my life is the only thing I can call my own and I do think I’m entitled to it.

“After the dust settles, I’m up for grabs!” she added.