It’s been 55 years since Harper Lee published her first and only book, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ but it won’t be her last. At 88, she just announced that she’ll be publishing ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ which will technically be a sequel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
In July 2015, Harper Lee will publish Go Set a Watchman, a 304-page novel that she wrote in the 1950s before writing To Kill a Mockingbird! The new novel will showcase Scout as an adult woman — but why did Harper wait so long to publish it? Well, that’s an interesting story. Read her statement below!
Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Sequel
“In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman. It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became To Kill a Mockingbird) from the point of view of the young Scout,” Harper said in a statement to AP News. “I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told.”
Well, doing what she was told definitely paid off!
“I hadn’t realized it (the original book) had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it,” she added. “After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”
Her sequel will be published in the United Kingdom by William Heinemann, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
What Will ‘Go Set A Watchman’ Be About?
“Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus,” she explained. “She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.”
Jonathan Burnham, one of Harper’s publishers is excited for the “remarkable literary event.”
“The existence of Go Set a Watchman was unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans of To Kill a Mockingbird,” he said. “Reading in many ways like a sequel to Harper Lee’s classic novel, it is a compelling and ultimately moving narrative about a father and a daughter’s relationship, and the life of a small Alabama town living through the racial tensions of the 1950s.”
Watchman is set in Maycomb, Alabama, about 20 years after TKAM. She wrote it during the Civil Rights movement. It will be released on July 14, as it was written in the 50s with no revisions.
— Emily Longeretta