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.
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.“
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.”