On Feb. 3 it was announced that author, Harper Lee, of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, is to release a sequel to her American classic novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman”.
Lee’s new novel, which is releasing over 50 years later from her only other work, follows the main character of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Scout Finch. The storyline follows Finch as an adult going back to her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama to visit her father Atticus. The story is also to include many other characters from the original novel.
“Go Set a Watchman” was written before “To Kill A Mockingbird” in the 1950s, but is being produced as the sequel to “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Fans of Lee’s work have questioned why the novel didn’t come out first, or what led to her decision to finally have it published now.
According to abcnews’ website, when Lee originally wrote “Go Set a Watchman” her publisher encouraged her to re-write the story from Scout’s point of view as a child versus an adult, thus leading to the storied novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
Following the enormous success of to her only published novel, many readers of Lee’s famous work are worried about just how well-received the sequel will be.
“Maybe it will be another profound and timeless piece of literature — and I hope it is — but Harper Lee is taking a risk with her legacy. And personally, I am nearly always disappointed with any sequel to a classic,” said Terri Hilgendorf, a Lewis and Clark English and Literature Coordinator.
Hilgendorf is not the only lover of Lee’s literature to be doubtful of her future release. Some fans are suspicious of the reason to publish Lee’s second novel, citing that it is uncharacteristic of the admired American writer’s previous stance for “To Kill a Mockingbird” to be her sole work.
“I am a bit skeptical. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ has always been my favorite novel, and I taught it for years in the public schools. From everything I have read about Harper Lee, I doubt she would be happy about the release of this new discovery,” L&C English Professor, Karen Sutton said:
“I have read that she is currently deaf, blind, and suffering from dementia, so I cannot imagine that she is releasing a book at this point… I will read it with an open mind, but I still am worried that someone is taking advantage of her fame for personal gain.”
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