A sequel to the Pulitzer Prize winning 1960 book, To Kill a Mockingbird, will be released this summer.
On July 14, Harper Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchmen, will be released by Harper 55 years after the release of her first, and to date, only novel.
The second book, Go Set a Watchmen, was written during the 1950s but set aside and forgotten.
Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham said, “The existence of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift.”
In a statement, Lee, who is now 88, explains, “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.”
Rediscovered just last year, Go Set a Watchmen is in fact a sequel to the American best-selling book To Kill a Mockingbird, which sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. The new 304-page book will be Lee’s second and first release in more than 50 years.
Go Set a Watchman will be published in the United Kingdom by William Heinemann, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The company intends to print 2 million copies of the new book for a first run.