H is for Harper Lee

A few months ago, it was announced that Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird would release her second book, Go Set a Watchman, later this year.  This came as a shock to the literary world as Mockingbird was published 55 years ago.

I, like most people, have very mixed feelings about this.  To Kill a Mockingbird is a modern classic.  It remains to this very day one of my favorite books.  So part of me would love to see more work by Lee.  It would be great to learn what happened to Scout, Jem, and Atticus Finch in the years after the events of the first book.

…But would it?  The other side of me is vehemently against the idea of a Mockingbird sequel.  To Kill a Mockingbird is perfect as it is.  If Watchman doesn’t live up to its expectations, will it sully the high regard we hold for its predecessor?  I think if Lee had released a different book, unrelated to the events and characters of Mockingbird, I would not be so skeptical.  But as it is, I am worried that Watchman may be a disappointment.  Moreover, Lee actually wrote Go Set a Watchman before To Kill a Mockingbird.  When her editor read a flashback sequence in which Scout Finch was a young girl, he suggested that Lee write a novel about Scout’s childhood.  This makes me nervous.  Watchman is an amateur’s first attempt at a novel, one that was pushed aside for a different idea by the book’s editor.

On the other hand (well, back to the first hand, I guess), Harper Lee has proven to be a magnificent writer and Watchman is said to deal with many similar themes to Mockingbird.  I’m sure all of this is just the public being overprotective of a book we all adore.  I guess, in the end, I’m cautiously optimistic about the release of Go Set a Watchman.  One thing’s for sure, the internet will certainly be ablaze with discussion once the novel comes out this July.

And now, just because I like it, here’s a song called “Harper Lee” by Little Green Cars:

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4 thoughts on “H is for Harper Lee

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, and I am also torn about this news. Some people are also concerned that the manuscript appeared after Lee’s sister & lawyer passed away. She was the one who always “protected” Lee from greedy publishers, and now that Lee is older and possibly senile, some think the publishers are taking advantage of her now. Regardless, I will be checking out Watchman with much intrigue!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I had heard that too. Apparently there was an investigation as to whether Lee was subject to elder abuse/if she was being manipulated. I guess they interviewed her and found her to be of a lucid enough state of mind to know and be excited about the publication of the new book. I hope that truly is the case; it would be terrible if people were just taking advantage of her. 😦 But it sounds like she is aware of everything and is looking forward to the book’s release.

      Liked by 2 people

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