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Harper Lee Is Publishing Her 2nd Novel

'Go Set a Watchman' features Scout as an adult
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2015 9:45 AM CST
Harper Lee Is Publishing Her 2nd Novel
In this 2007 file photo, author Harper Lee smiles.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

(Newser) To Kill a Mockingbird will not be Harper Lee's only published book after all. Publisher Harper announced today that Go Set a Watchman, a novel the Pulitzer Prize-winning author completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be released July 14. Rediscovered last fall, Go Set a Watchman is essentially a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, although it was finished earlier. The 304-page book will be Lee's second, and the first new work in more than 50 years. The publisher plans a first printing of 2 million copies. "In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman," the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by Harper. "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."

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"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. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years." Carter came upon the manuscript at a "secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of To Kill a Mockingbird," the publisher says. The new book is set in Lee's famed Maycomb, Ala., during the mid-1950s, 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird and roughly contemporaneous with the time that Lee was writing the story. Lee's publisher said the author is unlikely to do any publicity for the book. And despite Lee's stated preference for paper, Watchman will also be released in electronic form. (Read more To Kill A Mockingbird stories.)

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