To Kill a Mockingbird is getting a sequel! Here's what you should know

Feb 3, 2015 at 12:53 p.m. ET
Image: Bryan Howard/WENN

Harper Lee, the writer of one of the most iconic and beloved books To Kill a Mockingbird, has revealed that she plans to release a sequel to the novel.

It has been over 50 years since To Kill a Mockingbird, the story with themes about racial injustice and the destruction of innocence, was published. Now, the sequel, Go Set a Watchman, will be released on July 14 and there is a very special story behind this book. Initially written in the 1950s and put aside, the novel was once lost and only rediscovered last fall by Lee's lawyer.

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According to Fox News, Lee, now 88, said in a statement, "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.

"I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. 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. 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."

The new book will be Lee's second, and the publisher HarperCollins plans on a first printing of 2 million copies of the 304-page book, which has already been described as "a remarkable literary event."

According to BBC News, in a statement, HarperCollins' Jonathan Burnham called Go Set a Watchman "a remarkable literary event" whose "discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans of To Kill a Mockingbird."

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He continued, "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."

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