In perhaps the greatest drop-the-mic moment in publishing history, legendary reclusive author Harper Lee pulled the ultimate One and Done with her masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird. But reports are emerging that a sequel to the book exists — and will be published this summer.
According to the AP, book publisher Harper announced that the novel, Go Set a Watchman, will be released July 14.
“In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman,” the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by the publisher. “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 [what became To Kill a Mockingbird] 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 [the original book] 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.”
The initial print run will be 2 million copies, which in book world, is an astounding number. To Kill a Mockingbird is a global bestseller, having moved more than 40 million copies and winning a Pulitzer Prize.
Not everyone is convinced that the 88-year-old is behind the release, however. In this piece by Salon, they point out that the author, who shunned the spotlight purposely after To Kill a Mockingbird, “has been rumored to be in poor health lately, too. In a 2011 interview with the Australian Daily Telegraph, Lee’s close friend Rev. Dr. Thomas Lane Butts said, ‘She’s in an assisted-living facility. She’s 95 per cent blind, profoundly deaf, bound to a wheelchair. Her short-term memory is completely shot, and poor in general.’ ”
Regardless of how this is making it to print, or e-book, we’ll be reading.