After a 50 year absence of new work from author Harper Lee, a sequel of sorts to “To Kill a Mockingbird” has been announced.
It was announced Tuesday that “Go Set a Watchman,” a novel the Pulitzer Prize-winning author completed in the 1950s and put aside. Rediscovered last fall, “Go Set a Watchman” takes place after “To Kill a Mockingbird,” although it was finished earlier.
The publisher plans a first printing of 2 million copies. “In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called ‘Go Set a Watchman,'” Lee said. “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.”
“Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus,” the publisher’s announcement reads. “She 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.”
According to the publisher, the book will be released as she first wrote it, with no revisions.
“This is a remarkable literary event,” Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement. “The existence of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ 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.”
The novel will be released July 14.