Harper Lee Is Publishing A ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Sequel!

Harper Lee
Harper Lee
Harper Lee

You read that right, Harper Lee is publishing a sequel, or technically a prequel, to her Pulitzer Prize-winning, all-around loved novel and one of the Holy Grails of American literature that you probably studied in seventh grade. Are you feeling nostalgic yet?

Go Set A Watchman, Lee’s novel that she wrote before To Kill A Mockingbird, features Scout Finch, one of the latter’s main characters, as an adult woman instead of a child. Thankfully, we won’t be waiting too long for the novel to hit shelves for its release date has been announced: next July, the 14th to be exact, 55 years after To Kill A Mockingbird was released.

Harper Lee back in the day...
Harper Lee back in the day…

Lee told AP, “In 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 (the ever-famous To Kill A Mockingbird) from the point of view of the young Scout.”

Why did she oblige and set aside her original novel? “I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told,” Lee explained.

You must be wondering, why publish it now? Is there some kind of publicity stunt? I can assure you, according to Lee’s second statement, nope not really, it was by mere coincidence that her long lost novel was found.

“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,” she continued. “I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

mockingbirdThat a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird is being published amidst the political turbulence of today’s world is quite ironic. Personally, I have my fingers crossed and I’m hoping that Lee’s newest publication will be as politically shrewd as its sequel.

In To Kill A Mockingbird, we were exposed to the harsh realities of racial tensions, segregation and discrimination as well as social class disparity, personal integrity and morality.

In Go Set A Watchman, Lee has disclosed that we will read about Scout 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.”

Here are a few memorable quotes from To Kill A Mockingbird to serve as your dose of inspiration for today:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” – Atticus Finch

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” – Scout Finch

“With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.” – Scout Finch

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – Atticus Finch



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