To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most renowned novels in history and after its author, Harper Lee, announced a sequel, sales of the original piece skyrocketed by 6600%. Lee received the coveted Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published 55 years ago. A long-standing classic, no one could have imagined that she would again create magic.
In a statement from Lee, the new novel is titled “Go Set a Watchman”. As a sequel, the book will be set in the 1950s and include some of the primary characters from To Kill a Mockingbird but only 20 years later. According to the Lee, the book is scheduled to be released by July 14 of this year.
What makes Go Set a Watchman so intriguing is that 88-year-old Lee actually wrote it prior to writing To Kill a Mockingbird. The sequel was penned in the 1950s but she thought the manuscript had been lost so having the opportunity for the book to be published now is truly humbling and amazing.
Lee stated that she had no idea the manuscript had survived so when it was discovered by Tonja Carter, her lawyer but also close friend, she was beyond excited. Lee admitted that she hesitated at first and gave the idea of publishing a second book much thought but after discussing it with some of her trusted friends, she felt confident that it was a worthy piece that needed to be published.
While Lee would not go into great detail, she did say that Scout, one of the lead characters in To Kill a Mockingbird was featured but now as adult. In Go Set a Watchman, Scout goes back to her home state of New York to see Atticus, her father who lives in the fictional town of Maycomb.
There, she is forced to deal with struggles pertaining to political and personal issues. She also tries to gain an understanding of how her father looks at society, along with conflicted emotions specific to her upbringing in Maycomb.
For those who have never taken the time to read the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, it is the story of race and what it meant to grow in in Alabama during the 1930s. Some of the material in the book is actually based on Lee’s personal experiences. The novel was published in 1960 at the same time the civil rights movement in the United States was growing. To Kill a Mockingbird was so powerful at that time that it became mandated reading in many schools across the country.
To date, some 30 million copies of To Kill a Mockingbird have been sold, reaching people of all ages, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. As stated by Charles Shields, American novelist biographer, this novel achieved success because it addressed a very important topic of how to get along with people who are not like one another.
Publisher Jonathan Burnham said Go Set a Watchman is an amazing literary event. With no one aware the manuscript even existed until recently, it is not only a special gift to fans of To Kill a Mockingbird but to people who have not yet read the first novel.
After Lee announced the upcoming second book, on Amazon’s website alone, 2938% more copies were sold through following the announcement.