Manuscript for Sequel to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Unearthed

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The purported sequel to the beloved novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is to be published 50 years after it was written, after accidentally being discovered. The manuscript was found by Lee’s lawyer Tonja B. Carter, and since its unearthing there has been a great deal of controversy and speculation about the handling of the novel, titled “Go Set a Watchman.” 

The book, which takes place 20 years after the events of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” has been stalled in its release despite garnering an exponential amount of preorders as the intentions of Lee are still unclear. Some have circulated rumors regarding the reclusive Lee's mental state, while others have defended the author, assuring the curious that she is perfectly capable of a decision.

The famed author’s publisher, Harper, a subsidiary of HarperCollins, has quelled rumors that upon detection of the forgotten book, they attempted to coax Lee into publishing it – a book she has made no effort to put in the public eye for five decades. There is an unsettling schism between close family and colleagues, some saying they knew of the novel for years, while others say they are completely blindsided by the news of the book.

Another factor that has added fuel to the fire is Lee’s recent distaste for the exploitation of her fame, especially by those in the small town of Monroeville, Ala., where she has lived all her life. The town, which is essentially “To Kill a Mockingbird”-themed, has lost the faith of its most famous resident after she learned her signed books were being sold on eBay and their museum was selling copyrighted paraphernalia. 

“Go Set a Watchman” was intended to be Lee’s debut novel but, because of a conflict with her editor, it was set aside in favor of a story that was from Scout’s viewpoint, now one of the most circulated pieces of American literature. Reports state that Lee was under the impression that the manuscript was lost before Carter’s discovery. Lee has often been cited as saying she has no interest in publishing another novel. However, some have claimed that she has shown enthusiasm toward publishing “Go Set a Watchman."

The book has reportedly been sent to a handful of readers for review, the names of which are being kept a secret, according to Carter. An alleged meeting was held between legal parties associated with Lee to discuss whether or not the book was to be released; the results of that gathering are unknown.

“To Kill a Mockingbird” is a cherished work sewed into the fabric of America’s history and, while it is uncertain if its sequel will ever see the light of day, readers can find solace in the fact that the original is a masterpiece that is in no jeopardy of losing its timelessness or ability to stand on its own as a hallmark of American literature.