To Kill a Mockingbird Sequel Announced

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Rachel Banta '16, Writer

Fifty-five years after the publication of the 1960s beloved classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, which has sold more than 30 million copies in 18 languages in addition to still selling about 750,000 copies a year in the United States and Canada, reclusive novelist Harper Lee, is planning to publish her forgotten second novel, Go Set A Watchman, on July 14 of this year. Lee admits that the highly anticipated three-hundred-and-four page sequel was written prior to Mockingbird when her editor, who was taken by the flashbacks of young Scout’s childhood, persuaded her to write the novel from the point of view of the younger Scout rather than the older. Lee stated since she “was a first-time writer, she did as she was told.” The novel is set in the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from her first novel some 20 years later, primarily revolving around the leading heroine, Scout Finch, who has returned to Maycomb, Alabama, from her life as an adult in New York to visit her father, Atticus. “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,” Lee’s statement said. Lee is planning on a first printing of 2 million copies and then later releasing an electronic edition. “After much thought and hesitation,” the 88-year-old Lee said, “I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication and I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”