The late novelist Harper Lee could not imagine a worse place to spend eternity than Donald Trump’s $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

“The worst punishment God can devise for a sinner is to make her spirit reside eternally at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City,” the “To Kill a Mockingbird” author wrote in a letter dated Aug. 25, 1990, five months after the Atlantic City casino opened.

Lee’s brief but scathing review was in a letter intended for a friend, Doris Leapard, according Nate D. Sanders Auctions in Los Angeles. The company is auctioning the letter on Thursday.

By Monday afternoon, the highest bid was $1,209.

Lee, who largely retreated from public life after her first novel won the Pulitzer Prize, died in February at age 90.

The letter fails to mention what prompted her view of the Taj Mahal, created by the now Republican frontrunner for the presidential nomination.

The two-page, type-written letter discusses mostly novels on social revolution and Alabama authors.

In blue pen, she apologized for scratchy typing.

“My typewriter sticks from the humidity,” she wrote in the letter that was postmarked in New York.

Donald Trump opened the Trump Taj Mahal in April 1990 complete with hundreds of flowering plants placed throughout the 120,000-square-foot hotel and casino — the largest in the city at the time.

Its 5,100 parking spaces were more than double what most others had, and the Taj Mahal had five times the convention space of the average casino hotel in the city.

“It’s just what Atlantic City needs,” Trump told The Press of Atlantic City in 1990.

A Donald Trump spokeswoman on Monday did not respond to a request for comment on Lee’s letter.

The opening was so anticipated the Atlantic City Transportation Authority, along with police and Taj Mahal officials, had to come up with a traffic management plan that would create alternate travel routes, encouraging use of mass transit and stationing police at key intersections to adjust traffic patterns.

Trump no longer has any association with the casino still bearing his name.

Carl Icahn’s companies officially owned Trump Taj Mahal in February after Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. and its subsidiaries emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The reorganized company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises.

Icahn had said he planned to invest $100 million into the Taj Mahal after taking ownership. But he also said a push to build casinos in North Jersey could dissuade him.

“Although I had planned to invest up to $100 million in the Taj (just as I previously made substantial investments in the Tropicana), obviously it would not be judicious to proceed with those investments while gaming in North Jersey remains an open issue. We will have to wait to see the outcome of those proposals,” Icahn told The Press earlier this month.

Harper Lee’s letter is one of two on the auction block.

The second letter, also addressed to Leapard, is dated Jan. 29, 1999. In it, Lee thanks Leapard for getting her Vivian Malone’s autograph.

Malone was among the first black students to integrate at the University of Alabama in 1963, several years after “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published.

Contact: 609-272-7258

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