In June of this year, Harper Lee, the 88-year old author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has finally decided to release a sequel, “Go Set a Watchman.” However, the publication of her second novel is surrounded by mysterious circumstances.
The decision to release the book came soon after the death of Harper Lee’s sister, Alice Lee, who was 103 years old. Alice had been the guardian of Harper’s book and was responsible for her legacy. After her death, Harper, who is difficult to communicate with and living in a nursing home, decided to publish the book, which previously was kept in a “vault” of some sort. Understandably, there has been some controversy as to whether Harper Lee is on board with the publication of “Go Set a Watchman,” or if this is somebody’s scam to earn a lot of money. The first print run is currently set for 2 million copies.
“Go Set a Watchman” was actually written before “To Kill a Mockingbird”, about Scout as an adult woman, containing excerpts from her childhood life. However, when Harper Lee’s editor read “Go Set a Watchman,” they admitted they preferred the excerpts from Scout’s childhood, so they were expounded upon to become “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Opinions in Ledyard on the new novel vary.
“I’m torn about reading it knowing the history of Harper Lee,” Civics teacher Elizabeth Dubreuil said. “I’m interested because ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was one of the loves of my life.”
“I am not at all skeptical,” sophomore Liz Martin said. Martin read “To Kill a Mockingbird” in school this year for the first time. “I just am super excited to read the book.”
“If [Harper Lee] didn’t want people to read it, that makes me want to read it more,” junior Xavier Edwards said. “Otherwise I probably wouldn’t read it.”
“I will most likely read it because I enjoyed ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and believe Harper Lee is a strong writer,” senior Jessica Burger said. “You don’t always get to see the character’s perspective.”
Alex Houdeshell, Staff Writer
Alex Houdeshell is a staff writer for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She is the Design Editor of Ledyard’s Horizons Yearbook, plays JV soccer, runs distance in indoor and outdoor track, and is President of Operation Smile.