Harper Lee Lost Manuscript Gets Published 55 Years Later

Harper Lee Lost Manuscript Gets Published 55 Years Later

Literary fans across the globe are jumping for joy today upon hearing the news that the book ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is getting a sequel of sorts; 55 years later. US publisher HarperCollins announced today via a press release, that a second novel from the famed author Harper Lee, would hit shelves and tablets later this Summer. Her first and only novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, released back in 1960 went on to sell over 40 million copies and was made into an Oscar winning film starring Gregory Peck. A classic in American literature, it also won Harper Lee the Pulitzer Prize.

Unknown to still exist even by the author herself until recently, when it was discovered by her lawyer, was her original manuscript for a novel titled, ‘Go Set A Watchman’. It was written before ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ but never published and was the catalyst that inspired the classic. According to HarperCollins, the author was asked by her editor in the 1950’s to go back and rework the story, with the main character Scout as a young child. The result of course is history and fans have since longed for the author to pen another book. A few works were started and shelved over the years, with Harper having no plans to write again. Now almost completely deaf and blind and more than five decades later, that wish is coming to pass in ‘Go Set A Watchman’.

The news isn’t without a bit of controversy. Ms. Lee who is now 88 years old, reportedly lives in an assisted-living facility and would have had no knowledge of the book, had it not been discovered “affixed to an original typescript of To Kill a Mockingbird” by her long time friend and attorney, Tonja Carter. HarperCollins acquired the rights to the new novel and the deal was negotiated by Michael Morrison, President and Publisher of HarperCollins US General Books Group and Canada, and Carter. But we’ll leave the conspiracy theories to someone else.

For now, fans young and old can look forward to a new Harper Lee book this July 14th, 55 years in the waiting. HarperCollins describes ‘Go Set A Watchman’ as follows:

“Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from 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.” (HC)

Go Set a Watchman will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by William Heinemann, an imprint of Penguin Random House Inc.

Source: HarperCollins Publishers
Photo: Nelle Harper Lee circa 1962 Wiki

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Wayne Andres

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