Harper Lee's new novel


Katie Nail ’16

After a 55-year hiatus, Pulitzer Prize winning author Ms. Harper Lee reentered the literary world when her publishing house announced its plans to release her second novel, Go Set a Watchman. Ms. Lee is renowned for her 1960 classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, which, until now, was her first and only published work.
In the mid-1950s, Ms. Lee abandoned her original manuscript of Go Set a Watchman and began To Kill a Mockingbird instead. 
Go Set a Watchman is a 304-page novel whose plot is a follow up of To Kill a Mockingbird. It resumes the life of Atticus Finch and his daughter, Scout, twenty years later. The stories in both novels take place in Maycomb, Alabama. 
Both novels convey the same themes of racial tension in the South, and highlight the complex relationship between father and daughter.
To Kill a Mockingbird’s emphasis on social injustice makes it a common discussion piece in classrooms worldwide, and the novel is part of the eighth grade English class curriculum at Convent of the Sacred Heart.

Katie Nail '16
Katie Nail ’16

“The content is still very relevant to society today, so I loved reading it. I read it twice actually, so I can’t wait to read the sequel and see what happens to Scout and Atticus,” sophomore Thea Dowrich said.
After the novel’s release in 1960, Ms. Lee did not publish a sequel because she was under the impression that she physically lost her draft of Go Set a Watchman. 
Last fall, however, Ms. Lee’s friend and lawyer, Ms. Tonja Carter, found the manuscript of Go Set a Watchman attached to an original version of To Kill a Mockingbird in Ms. Lee’s archives, according to The New York Times
Upon discovering the work, Ms. Carter spread the word about the new novel.
Ms. Lee was initially reluctant to release the “parent” novel of To Kill a Mockingbird, but after a significant amount of encouragement and persuasion, she agreed. 
“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,” Ms. Lee said, according to The New York Times.
February 3, Ms. Lee’s publishing house, HarperCollins Publishers LLC., announced that it will release Go Set a Watchman July 14. This sequel and parent novel to To Kill a Mockingbird will not be altered from the original manuscript, according to The New York Times.
Ms. Lee is currently 88 years old and consented to describing Go Set a Watchman as a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. 
– Jade Cohen, Staff Writer