Harper Lee to Publish a Sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
Harper Lee is one of the most celebrated writers with only one book. Her 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird won the Pulitzer Prize and has been a staple of high school reading lists for decades. It was expected that Lee, now in her late eighties, would never publish another book. But the expectations were wrong. This summer, the AP reports, Harper (the publisher) will publish Harper Lee’s sequel novel Go Set a Watchman:
Rediscovered last fall, “Go Set a Watchman” is essentially a sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird,” although it was finished earlier. The 304-page book will be Lee’s second, and the first new work in more than 50 years.
The book was written in the 1950s, and in a statement 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.
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.
It will be out this July and 2 million copies are being printed in the first run.