Fans of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee have been waiting for more than 50 years for a second novel. Well, today they got their wish. Publisher Harper announced today that Lee’s second novel, “Go Set A Watchman,” will be released on July 14.
I am concerned that #HarperLee is rushing this second novel.
— David Wild (@Wildaboutmusic) February 3, 2015
No other book publishing news is going to matter today. #HarperLee
— Kathleen Schmidt (@Bookgirl96) February 3, 2015
The Associated Press reports that Lee wrote “Go Set A Watchman” in the 1950s, before she wrote “To Kill A Mockingbird,” but she never had it published. The 304 page novel features many characters from her classic book and is essentially a sequel.
Personally, I look forward to To Kill A Mockingbird 2: The Search For Boo Radley’s Gold. #HarperLee
— Dan Speerin (@danspeerin) February 3, 2015
“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 (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.”
Publisher Harper said that it would initially print 2 million copies of the novel. But if “To Set A Watchman” sees the same sort of success as “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Harper will have to print a few more. Harper Lee’s first novel has sold more than 40 million copies since its release in 1960.
Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham said in a statement:
“This is a remarkable literary event. The existence of `Go Set a Watchman’ was unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans of `To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Reading in many ways like a sequel to Harper Lee’s classic novel, it is a compelling and ultimately moving narrative about a father and a daughter’s relationship, and the life of a small Alabama town living through the racial tensions of the 1950s.”
Harper Lee has already chosen the title for her new novel but Twitter still had some suggestions.
Mockingbird 2: Electric Boogaloo
— GB Dawkins (@gbdawkins) February 3, 2015
2 KILL 2 MOCKINGBIRDS
— Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) February 3, 2015
Mockingbird 2: The Wrath of Boo Radley (did I do it right?)
— Will Nevin (@willnevin) February 3, 2015
“To Kill A Mockingbird 2: Tokyo Drift” is going to be epic.
— Dawg Sports (@dawgsports) February 3, 2015
“To Kill A Mockingbird 2: Mock This”
— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) February 3, 2015
Are you excited for Harper Lee’s second novel?