Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird gets a sequel, after fifty years: Go Set a Watchman

In an announcement that already has the literary community abuzz, the publishing house HarperCollins has announced that it will soon be publishing a sequel to Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

The new book, Go Set A Watchman, was actually penned by Lee before she wrote To Kill A Mockingbird, but it was thought to be lost for decades.

A friend of Lee’s supposedly discovered it and brought it to HarperCollins, who naturally jumped at the opportunity to publish it.

Harper issued the following statement about the book through HarperCollins:

In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman. It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort.

My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel from the point of view of the young Scout. I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realized it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. 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.

HarperCollins, which is a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, plans to publish Go Set a Watchman on July 14th, 2015. An initial print run of two million copies is planned for what the firm is calling a “literary event”, which hardly seems like an exaggeration. To Kill A Mockingbird has been, for decades, Harper Lee’s only published work. Now she will have a second book to her name.

The New York Times has more coverage of the announcement.