From the author of the classic and controversial novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, comes a new installment. Go Set a Watchman is a continuation of Lee’s previous novel. It takes place 20 years later in the same fictional town of Maycomb. It unfolds as Jean Louise Finch (better known as Scout), the same child heroine from To Kill a Mockingbird, visits her father. This novel was completed in the mid-1950’s before To Kill a Mockingbird. The manuscript was abandoned when Lee’s editor told her to re-write the novel from a young heroine’s point of view. Taking this advice, Lee rewrote the novel from the perspective of a young Scout and called it To Kill a Mockingbird. Since its release in 1960, this highly controversial novel has sold over 40 million copies and continues to sell 1 million copies a year. To Kill a Mockingbird was also adapted into a film in 1962 two years after its release as a novel.
Go Set a Watchman was discovered by Lee’s close friend and lawyer, Tonja Carter. After much convincing, Carter, along with many others, persuaded Lee to publish the novel as they believe it would be worthwhile. This novel is said to tackle the racial tensions in the 1950’s along with the nature of father-daughter relationships. It is set to be released on July 14, 2015. Two million copies will be published.
Many inquire as to why Lee has decided to publish Go Set a Watchman 55 years after To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee has addressed this inquiry by saying she felt that she had discussed everything she wished to say in To Kill a Mockingbird. She also says the publicity and hype surrounding her first novel was overwhelming. However, since being convinced to release her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, Lee has made it clear that this novel is not a sequel, but a “parent” to her first novel.
Lee has expressed much excitement about this new novel. She has said that she is extremely happy about the public’s reaction to her decision to release this work.
To Kill a Mockingbird is an exquisite novel and Lee has mentioned in many interviews that she would never release a novel without extreme certainty that the novel would be worthwhile to read. Go Set a Watchman will surely be another classic novel by Harper Lee.