Monday 18 December 2017

Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird to publish sequel - after 55 years

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05: Pulitzer Prize winner and
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05: Pulitzer Prize winner and "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom is given to those who have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Harper Lee with Truman Capote

Jess Denham

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.

READ: Why literary heavyweight Harper Lee stayed silent for so many years

"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.”

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