One of the world’s most widely read literary works –To Kill A Mockingbird —- will soon have a sequel.
Almost half a century after Lee Harper wrote her first book —To Kill A Mockingbird, she has decided to publish the second one this summer. Publisher Harper has announced it has acquired rights to a newly discovered novel by Lee.
Titled GO SET A WATCHMAN by Lee, the novel will be published on July 14th, 2015. After “To Kill A Mockingbird” was published by J B Lippincott in 1960, Lee set aside “Go Set A Watchman” and never returned to it.
The manuscript of the novel was considered to have been lost until fall 2014, when Tonja Carter discovered it in a secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
“Go Set A Watchman” is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from “To Kill A Mockingbird” ——– some 20 years later. Scout (Jean Louis Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude towards society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood. Lee says, 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 from the point of view of the young Scout. I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told.”
Lee added, “I hadn’t realised it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. After mush thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.
“Go Set A Watchman” will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by William Heinemann, an imprint of Penguin Random House Inc. “To Kill A Mockingbird” has recorded world-wide sales topping 40 million copies. ——– It won the Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a 1962 movie of the same name, starring Gregory Peck in an Oscar-winning performance as the courageous lawyer Atticus Finch.