Harper Lee, the fiercely private Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill A Mockingbird, announced this morning that she is publishing a sequel to her first and heretofore only novel. Called Go Set A Watchman, it features Scout from 1960’s To Kill A Mockingbird as a young woman, and it will be published without any revisions from Lee’s 60-year-old manuscript. Lee said that she set the book aside after finishing it, and didn’t realize it had even survived until a friend found it “in a secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Lee’s privacy, and the fact that she chose to end her literary career after the success of To Kill A Mockingbird, has always made her an object of curiosity. She made news last summer, when Chicago Tribune reporter Marja Mills published Lee’s biography amid controversy of whether the book was authorized. At the time, Lee said she was “hurt, angry and saddened, but not surprised” to learn that Mills was going to press with the book.
Go Set A Watchman will be published on July 14, 2015, by Harper Collins. In the book, Scout returns to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father, Atticus Finch. The publisher calls it “a compelling and ultimately moving narrative about a father and a daughter’s relationship, and the life of a small Alabama town living through the racial tensions of the 1950s.” Lee calls it “a pretty decent effort.”