It’s been 55 years since we last heard from Pulitzer Prize winning author Harper Lee, but that silence ends this summer. Lee, inarguably one of the greatest writers of our time, will release a sequel to her famed and much beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird this year. Entitled Go Set a Watchman, the book is set to come out in July, with a proposed run of two million copies, says publisher Harper.
The media shy Lee has released a statement saying the new novel is a sequel though it was written first, and will pick up where we left off with the character of Scout. According to the publisher’s announcement, “[Scout] is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.”
The original manuscript for Go Set a Watchman had been lost until the author’s lawyer rediscovered it and persuaded her to publish it. We thank her for that. A million times, we thank her.
To Kill a Mockingbird’s themes on racism, sexism, and classism are just as relevant today as they was 55 years ago. That’s a sad thing to admit, considering how far we think we’ve come as a country. Though the original reportedly still sells 750,000 copies a year, the lessons involved could stand to gain more exposure, lest we all continue to fail. Here’s to hoping we don’t.