by Brittney Mace// Assistant Editor
Harper Lee, a world-renowned author, has announced the release of her second novel, and sequel to her first novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
According to Harper Publishing, the novel will be titled “Go Set a Watchman” and will be released in July.
According to Associated Press, the book will be published in its original form and has already hit the top of the best-selling charts, months before its actual publication.
In a statement released by Harper Publishing, Lee describes her novel and choice to publish.
ìIn 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, what became “How to Kill a Mockingbird”, 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 [the original book] 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,” said Lee.
Carter described the moment she discovered the novel to Washington Post, saying that she found the manuscript stapled to the manuscript of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and immediately rushed over to Lee, who then identified it as the sequel.
Because of Lee;s declining health, and her clear opinions on not publishing another book throughout the years, many have questioned whether or not she was pushed to publish and seemingly taken advantage of.
According to Slate.com, Carter said Lee is “hurt and humiliated” by these claims and that close friends say she is genuinely excited about the publishing process moving forward.
“When I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” as a high school assignment in the early 90s, I remember the teacher making the comment that Lee had only published one book and for years, even at that time, the public and the critics awaited her producing another work,” said Joshua Hite, instructor of English at Volunteer State Community College.
“Saying America has been awaiting this to occur would not be an understatement; however, we must take the entire situation into consideration.”
“The book was reportedly shelved after it was written in the 1950s, prior to “To Kill A Mockingbird” being published.
“This is strange enough, but when mixed with the reports that the manuscript was found by Lee’s lawyer, a recently new council to Lee who had used her own sister’s legal services for years, and secretive meetings occurred between Lee and the lawyer just prior to this announcement, a student of publishing and literary works must think “who has anything to gain from this?” and “why now?”
“While the circumstances are strange around the entire situation, literary scholars will be able to sift through this history once they can not only read the book itself but also view the manuscript.”
“I would not be surprised if the book will be a disappointment.
“I am not sure how it could not be since the news of this upcoming book in early February carried such weight. Finding a manuscript is different than publishing a book.
ìMany manuscripts went unpublished while the author was alive but were published after his/her death, possibly because the permission would not be granted while the writer was alive.
“Why would Lee grant permission now?
“This all seems a bit shady, but this will all be answered in about ten years when literary critics are able to analyze the text and sift through all the evidence surrounding this upcoming book,” said Hite.
“I am really looking forward to reading it. It will be interesting to step into the future of that world and see how the characters turned