Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is arguably one of the greatest American novels of all time. Since its 1960 publication it has been unmatched.
Lee never published another novel … until now.
According to a New York Times article, Lee has a new book coming out.
The novel is titled “Go Set a Watchman.”
It’s the original manuscript that would have been Lee’s literary debut, had her publisher not advised her to edit it to a young Scout’s perspective instead. The original novel features an adult Scout and an aging Atticus.
The news comes as a shock to many.
Her whole life, Lee vowed to never publish another novel. Why publish now? Did she change her mind?
Others have speculated Lee may have been duped by her lawyer into publishing the original manuscript because of her failing health and memory.
A Washington Post article claims that the 88-year old suffered a stroke back in 2007, and is almost completely blind and deaf.
She currently resides in an assisted-living facility.
Lee’s lawyer claims to have stumbled upon the novel while going through some of Lee’s possessions.
The lawyer insists Lee has given permission for the novel to be published, and has not been taken advantage of.
Despite the rumors, there is much anticipation for this novel.
Initially, I was worried this new novel may not be as good, that somehow the generations would be let down.
How do you top masterpiece? What if the characters somehow become tainted?
In celebration of the upcoming release, the Bob Hope Theatre showed the movie adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” for one of its nights of classic cinema.
As I sat watching, I kept the new novel in mind. I fought back tears, just like Atticus did when he heard of Tom Robinson’s death.
I swallowed my shallow breathes when the mysterious recluse Boo Radley saved Scout’s life.
I had my fears about the direction this new novel would take us, but I left my seat satisfied, and perhaps, like Lee … with my mind changed.
Walking to our car, my boyfriend made a comment in regards to Atticus killing the rabid dog in the street. He looked to me and said, “I wonder why Atticus stopped shooting. If he was the best shot in the county, why did he stop?”
I smiled in response. It didn’t matter if our beloved characters changed. Change is a part of life, and anything new would only add depth to the story.
“Go Set a Watchman” wouldn’t alter “To Kill a Mockingbird,” or take from it. It would only add to it.
Lee’s intention to publish may always be in question, but the impact of her literature is definite.
The new novel can pre-ordered on Amazon and is already the No. 1 best seller. It is set to be released on July 14, 2015.