Go Set a Watchman

Jasmine Kim

Fifty-five years ago, world-renowned author Harper Lee gained popularity and fame after publishing her award-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Up until last summer, it was known to the public that Lee had only written one novel her entire literary career, as she was known to say, “I wrote one good book and that was enough.” Yet, according to Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird was in fact the second book that she had written. The first unpublished book, titled Go Set a Watchman, features the little girl Jean Louise Finch, known as Scout, as an adult. Her editor was mesmerized by adult Scout’s childhood flashbacks, and asked Lee to rewrite the entire novel from little Scout’s point of view. Consequently, Lee agreed and To Kill a Mockingbird was published.

Half a decade later, upon reading through old manuscripts of To Kill a Mockingbird, the established author came across pages of her first novel, Go Set a Watchman. At first, Lee was utterly confused. She didn’t believe that she saved the original manuscript of her first book. Even after all these years, she wasn’t entirely sure if it was complete. Yet, the already retired author has decided to finally publish the book as a sequel, available to the public on July 14, 2015.

           The long-lost novel, titled Go Set a Watchman, takes place in Alabama in the 1950s, twenty years after the setting of the first novel, with its purpose still heavily focused on racism along with the other major themes of To Kill a Mockingbird. The story unfolds with essentially the same characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, and will be very compelling to read.