To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the classic novels of the 20th century, with its author, Harper Lee, considered one of the most elusive and fascinating writers. Mockingbird was her first, and only novel. In the decades since, the world has fallen in love with her words and waited for a follow-up novel. Today, Harper Lee has announced that she will now publish her first novel in 55 years and it will feature Scout as an adult woman.
Lee herself has described the novel, entitled Go Set a Watchman, as ‘a pretty decent effort’ and the publication date has already been set – 14 July. The initial print run is already two million copies.
Go Set a Watchman was written in the 1950s, before To Kill a Mockingbird, and is the original story of Scout, the young child narrator of the novel nearly every Irish citizen has studied in school. When Lee’s editor read the novel it was the flashback scenes to Scout’s childhood that captured her attention. Lee then set about to write the story of Scout’s family and thought the original manuscript had been lost. It was recently rediscovered by her lawyer Tonja Carter.
The Telegraph reports that Atticus Finch will feature in the novel and events will take place 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird ends. Plotwise, Scout will return to her home town of Maycomb, Alabama and “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”.
As Lee says in her statement about her decision to publish another novel, “I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”
We’re delighted we’ll finally get to read her amazing words again.
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