Not one and done, after all. To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee will publish a sequel to her beloved best seller, the scribe's publisher Harper announced Tuesday, Feb. 3.
The novel, Go Set a Watchman, was written in the 1950s and shelved by the reclusive author. Harper said Tuesday that it will print 2 million first edition copies of the 304-page book, which will be released on July 14.
This is the second novel to be released by Lee, now 88, who confirmed that the story line will involve a grown-up version of To Kill a Mockingbird heroine Scout Finch.
"In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman," Lee said in her statement. "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." It is set about 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird.
The publisher added more details about the novel, saying no revisions were made to the original copy. "Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus," Harper announced. "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."
Alabama native Lee, who was a New York City resident when she wrote the book, has since moved back to her native Monroeville. She explained why the book wasn't previously published.
"I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told," she said in her statement. "I hadn't realized [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."
Harper revealed that Carter found the manuscript in a "secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of To Kill a Mockingbird."
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