Harper Lee Is Publishing A To Kill A Mockingbird Sequel, Cue A Collective Squeal From The Entire Internet

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harper-lee-sequelHarper Lee’s 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic. Few people graduate high school without having read it, and it is in large part responsible for all the babies named Harper and Atticus running around the playground right now. We all grew up with Harper Lee, and now our kids will as well, because To Kill a Mockingbird is getting a sequel, and it’s coming out this summer.

According to the BBC, in the 1950s Harper Lee wrote a novel called Go Set a Watchman, but she put it aside and never published it. Go Set a Watchman was written before To Kill a Mockingbird, but it is a sequel. The protagonist is Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, but she is an adult in this book.

According to the Associated Press, Lee reportedly put the book aside and did not publish it on the advice of her editor, even though Lee says she was happy with the book.

“In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called ‘Go Set a Watchman,'” the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by Harper. “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.”

Goodness, Tonja Carter should get a Pulitzer herself for finding the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird in a drawer somewhere.

“I thought it a pretty decent effort.” Harper Lee said of the text. “I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

Considering that To Kill a Mockingbird is widely regarded as a classic and won Lee the Pulitzer, it is a bit surprising that this book was not published before this, but it is great news that it is coming out now. The book is reportedly set in Maycomb, Alabama, 20 years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird. In it, an adult Scout returns home to visit Atticus and “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.”

Go Set a Watchman has no cover art yet, but Amazon already has it available for pre-order and lists the release date as July 14, 2015. This seems like a very good time to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird in preparation.

Photo: Amazon