A historic literary event
At four days from the release of Go Set A Watchman, Haper Lee’s sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, The Guardian unveils the first chapter of the book with an interactive excerpt read by Reese Witherspoon. The Oscar winning actress is also the official narrator of the audiobook version.
Read Chapter 1 of Go Set A Watchman (24 minutes) here.
Originally written in the mid-1950s and due to be published on July 14 by HarperCollins, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.
Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.
Interesting facts about the book
The title comes from Isaiah 21:6: "For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth." It alludes to Scout's view of her father, Atticus Finch, as the moral compass (watchman) of Maycomb.
Though the book has been characterized in media reports as a sequel to Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, Go Set a Watchman was written in the mid-1950s, before she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published in 1960. She set it aside when her editor suggested that she write another novel from the young Scout Finch's perspective. The manuscript was then lost for many years, until being rediscovered by her lawyer in the fall of 2014. It will be published as originally written, with no revisions.
News sources, including NPR and BBC News, have reported that the conditions surrounding the release of the book are unclear and posit that Lee may not have had full control of the decision. Investigators for the state of Alabama interviewed Lee in response to a suspicion of elder abuse in relation to the publication of the book. However, by April 2015 the investigation had found that the claims were unfounded.
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel is the most pre- ordered print title on Amazon since the last book in the "Harry Potter" series.
|Harper Lee, 1961|