THE STORY OF AUTHOR HARPER LEE’S TWO BOOKS: From “To Kill a Mockingbird” to “Go Set a Watchman” [w. VIDEO & READING SAMPLE]

“To Kill a Mockingbird”. Widely considered a classic novel. A must read. Published 55 years ago and written by author Harper Lee, who was always considered as a bit shy, not willing to step into the limelight. So the winner of the famous Pulitzer Prize never again published a book. Until today.

Lee, now at the age of 89, lives in a retirment home in Monroeville, Alabama. “Go Set a Watchman,” her second book, now will be released on July 14. It creates excitement among fans and critics. And its origins are somehow unclear.

Although the plot is set afterwards the one of Harper Lee’s first novel, “Go Set a Watchman” seems to be written before “To Kill a Mockingbird.” But when exactly was it written?

The publisher says that the book was written in the 1950s, then disappeard after it had been sent to be reworked – and now was rediscovered.

The story of “Mockingbird” took place during 1933 and 1935. The time of the Great Depression in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. Main character, six-year-old Jean Louise Finch, experiences serious issues of rape and racial inequality. For many readers her father, Atticus Finch, acts as a moral hero and as a model of integrity.

A view Harper Lee’s new book may change, as the New York Times reports: “Atticus Finch — the crusading lawyer of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is depicted in ‘Watchman’ as an aging racist who has attended a Ku Klux Klan meeting, holds negative views about African-Americans and denounces desegregation efforts. ‘Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?’ Atticus asks his daughter, Jean Louise (the adult Scout), in ‘Watchman,‘” the newspaper reports.

Publisher Harper Collins explains that “‘Go Set a Watchman’ features many of the characters from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, ‘Go Set a Watchman’ casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic,” the statement says.

According to the New York Times, Harper Lee was sure, her second book would be released once. Although she may not have expected that it took 55 years.

Read some parts of “Go Set a Watchman” here.


More about that:
Harper Lee facts


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