The elusive Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird
more than a half-century ago and has been reluctant to publish a follow-up, confirmed today that a novel that she completed in the 1950's and put aside will be published later this year.
The publisher Harper (not to be confused with the author) announced that it would print 2,000,000 copies beginning this July of Go Set a Watchman
, which it said was essentially a sequel of To Kill a Mockingbird
, portraying Scout, the lead character of Mockingbird,
as a grown woman. Go Set a Watchman
is set in Maycomb, Ala., during the 1950s, approximately 20 years after the main events of To Kill a Mockingbird
"Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father, Atticus," said the publisher's announcement. "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."
In a statement released by her publisher, Lee said, "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."
Lee said it was her original editor, intrigued by Scout's flashbacks in To Kill a Mockingbird
, who encouraged her to write the second novel from the point of view of Scout as an older woman.