As an editorial writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cynthia Tucker became the second person from Monroeville, Alabama, to win a Pulitzer Prize. But growing up in Monroeville as an African American, she had to avoid the parts of town where Monroeville’s first Pulitzer winner grew up. Nelle Harper Lee’s exploration of racism, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published in 1960, but Tucker, born in 1955, didn’t attend an integrated school until she was 16. Schools and churches in Monroeville remain effectively segregated today.

Yet Monroeville has made its peace with its portrayal in To Kill a Mockingbird. No small part of the local economy derives from the book. Tens of thousands of literary tourists come every year, and each May a stage production of the novel draws crowds to the old courthouse. The Monroeville United Methodist Church owes much to Lee’s quiet generosity.

Until this year, Nelle Lee had said she never intended to publish another book, which was just fine with Monroeville—one had been more than enough, thank you. But early this year, when so much of Alabama was hearing echoes from bygone times, word came that an old manuscript had been discovered and that Lee, or someone acting in her name, had consented to publish it.