Harper Lee's letter ripping Donald Trump's casino sells at auction

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Remembering the Legacy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Author Harper Lee

A batch of letters written by the late novelist Harper Lee to various friends over the years fetched more than $33,500 at auction Thursday night — including snarky snail mail blasting a hotel bearing Donald Trump's name.

The celebrated "To Kill a Mockingbird" author, who died Feb. 19 at age 89, knocked the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in an August 1990 missive to friend Doris Leapard.

Lee tells Leapard she can't think of a worst place to spend eternity than the garish gaming palace that had opened a few months earlier at a cost of nearly $1 billion.

SEE ALSO: Change.org Petition Asks University of Alabama to Rename Building For Harper Lee

"The worst punishment God can devise for this sinner is to make her spirit reside eternally at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City," she wrote in the letter, which sold for $3,926, according to Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles.

It's unclear why Lee decided to rip into the Trump Taj Mahal, which the now-GOP presidential candidate trumpeted at the time as a boon for Atlantic City — a down-on-its-luck gambling mecca.

"It's just what Atlantic City needs," Trump told The Press of Atlantic City the year it opened.

While Trump's name is still on the casino, it is currently owned by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who purchased it in bankruptcy court in February. Trump also no longer owns or controls the casino company — Trump Entertainment Resorts — he founded.

Harper Lee through the years:

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Harper Lee through the years
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Harper Lee's letter ripping Donald Trump's casino sells at auction
circa 1960: American author Harper Lee smiling. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Author of To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee, in local courthouse while visiting her home town. (Photo by Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
Author of To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee, while visiting her home town. (Photo by Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
In an August 31, 2001, file image at the Stage Coach Cafe in Stockton, Ala., the author Harper Lee, who wrote 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' A recently-discovered sequel, 'Go Set a Watchman,' is due to be published in July 2015. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Writer Harper Lee attends the reception prior to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles 2005 Awards Dinner honoring Harper Lee at the Richard J. Riordan Central Library on May 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Writer Harper Lee (R) receives her award at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles 2005 Awards Dinner honoring Harper Lee at the City National Plaza on May 19, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Harper Lee (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)
Author Harper Lee (center) signs an original edition of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)
NEW YORK - MARCH 13: (U.S. TABS AND HOLLYWOOD REPORTER OUT) Playwright Horton Foote and writer Harper Lee listen to actor Dame Edna read a poem as Foote is honored by the Signature Theatre Company on the eve of his 90th birthday at the Ritz Carlton March 13, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05: U.S. President George W. Bush (L) hangs a Presidential Medal of Freedom on the neck of Harper Lee (C), Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of 'To Kill A Mockingbird,' during a presentation ceremony for the medal's 2007 recipients in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom is given to those who have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05: U.S. President George W. Bush (R) takes Pulitzer Prize winner and 'To Kill A Mockingbird' author Harper Lee by the arm before presenting her with the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom is given to those who have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05: Pulitzer Prize winner and 'To Kill A Mockingbird' author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom is given to those who have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Copies of Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman' are on display as part of a global release at a bookstore in Seoul on July 14, 2015. Copies of Lee's eagerly awaited, but controversial second novel flew off the shelves more than half a century after the groundbreaking success of 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Bidding for Lee's sardonic take on the Trump casino began at $750; it ultimately attracted 11 bids.

The Alabama native's highest-selling letter, penned in 1999 about the civil rights movement, sold for $4,753, the auction house said. In it, she thanks Leapard for providing her with civil rights icon Vivian Malone's autograph.

While Lee — a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1961 — was famously reclusive, her writing remains as popular as ever. Her last novel, "Go Set a Watchman," was released last summer and sold a record-breaking 1.1 million copies in its first week in North America.

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