50 years on, new book from 'To Kill a Mockingbird' author

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2015 11:17 AM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee will publish her second novel more than 50 years after the release of her classic "To Kill a Mockingbird," her publisher said on Tuesday.

"Go Set a Watchman," which is set in the 1950s and features characters from "To Kill a Mockingbird" some 20 years older, is scheduled to be published on July 14 by publisher Harper. The book was actually written before "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Lee, 88, thought it had been lost.

“In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called 'Go Set a Watchman,'" Lee wrote in a statement issued by Harper.

"It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort," Lee said. "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."

Lee thought the text of the earlier book had been lost and was surprised when her attorney, Tonja Carter, unearthed it.

"To Kill a Mockingbird," the story of race and growing up in Alabama in the 1930s, was based loosely on Lee's own experiences. It was published in 1960 shortly after the dawn of the U.S. civil rights movement and became required reading in many American schools.

The book has sold an estimated 30 million copies.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Scott Malone and Bill Trott)