Harper Lee to release second novel


Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Harper Lee (photo circa 1962) will release her second novel this July.

Hannah Boufford, Staff Writer

On July 14, Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, will release her second novel, Go Set a Watchman.

Written in the 1950s, Lee discarded the novel originally due to advice of her editor. The editor told Lee to focus on the flashbacks in Go Set a Watchman, which eventually snowballed into the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, according ABC News.

Thought to be lost, the manuscript was found in fall 2014 attached to an original typescript of Mockingbird, according to the press release from HarperCollins Publisher.

“I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realized it (the original book) had survived, so I was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it,” the 88-year old author said in her statement. “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.”

According to the publisher’s announcement, the second novel will take place about 20 years after Mockingbird, when Scout, as an adult, comes home from New York to visit her father.

“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,” the announcement said.

Watchman will be Lee’s second novel, and her first work published in more than 50 years. The publisher plans on printing 2 million copies of the 304-page book at first.

Mrs. Jenni Dunlap, a literature teacher at Highland Middle School, is a longtime fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, and the novel is also part her curriculum.

“It does make me a bit nervous because I do love To Kill a Mockingbird.  I hope to read it without comparing it, but I am excited to read it,” Mrs. Dunlap said.

Mrs. Julie Held-Lyons, an English teacher at Libertyville High School, also commented on the new release.

“I am not worried about whether the sequel will live up to the high standards of the original book by Harper Lee,” she said. “I am simply interested in reading another book written by her.”