Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird to publish sequel - after 55 years
Harper Lee, the 88-year-old author of To Kill A Mockingbird, is to publish a newly discovered second novel this summer, more than half a century after her seminal debut.
The book, entitled Go Set A Watchman, was written before To Kill A Mockingbird, which was published in 1960 and won a Pulitzer Prize. Ms Lee reportedly set her earlier effort aside after To Kill A Mockingbird became a bestseller. The manuscript was believed to have been lost until last autumn, when it was found among the author’s effects by her lawyer, Tonja Carter.
To Kill A Mockingbird was set in the Jim Crow South of the author’s childhood. Go Set a Watchman is a sequel set 20 years later, in the 1950s, and features many of the same characters. Ms Lee’s original UK publishers, William Heinemann, announced today that the 304-page book would be released on 14 July 2015.
In a statement Ms Lee said, “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. I hadn’t realized it 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.”