A&E

The Return of Harper Lee

Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” plans on releasing her second novel “Go Set a Watchman” after 55 years of waiting.

Harper LeeImage Quest | The Waltonian

Harper Lee

In the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the main character Atticus Finch states, “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Courage is surely the perfect word to describe 88- year-old Lee after the big announcement of her second novel.

In a statement on Feb. 3, the announcement day of the second novel, Lee discussed the background to “Go Set a Watchman.” The novel was the first book she wrote in the 1950s. The novel features the well- known character, Scout, as a grown woman. Her editor convinced her to write a novel from the perspective of young Scout due to the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood written in “Go Set a Watchman.” Pushing “Go Set a Watchman” aside, Lee went on to write and publish “To Kill a Mockingbird” instead.

In the recent statement Lee made she mentioned how she took all the advice from her editor and did what she was told because she was a first -time writer. Lee was not aware “Go Set a Watchman” survived all the years in between writing it originally, but she was pleasantly surprised when her friend discovered it attached to the original “To Kill a Mockingbird” manuscript. After sharing the recently found novel with trusted friends, Lee has decided to publish her second novel.

As many book enthusiasts know, “To Kill a Mockingbird” tells the tale from the perspective of the young girl, Scout. Atticus Finch, the father of Scout and a lawyer in Alabama, works to defend a black man against rape charges. “To Kill a Mockingbird” was published in 1960 and has currently sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. “To Kill a Mockingbird” received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961, it is a frequently read book among high school students, and was made into a successful movie. There is no doubt Lee’s new book has high expectations clinging to it.

“Go Set a Watchman” takes place in Alabama 20 years later with many of the same beloved characters from “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Scout, now as an adult, returns to visit her father in Alabama but struggles with the racial tensions of the 1950s through her own personal issues as well as her father’s.

“Go Set a Watchman” will be published July 14, 2015, but bookstores have already set up the ability for fans of all ages to pre-order the novel.

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