In 1960, the author Harper Lee broke sensitive ground with the release of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, the story of a black man falsely accused of a crime he did not commit.
In 2015, the author has revealed that she is to release the book’s sequel, doing so following the murders of African-American teenagers Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, whose deaths have oft been linked to the book’s slamming of racism.
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The Telegraph reports:
It is set 20 years after To Kill A Mockingbird ends. Scout returns to visit her father in Maycomb, Alabama but “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”.
In a statement, Lee, 88, said: “In the mid-1950s, I complete a novel called Go Set a Watchman.
“It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort.
“My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became To Kill a Mockingbird) from the point of view of the young Scout.
“I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realized it (the original book) had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it.
“After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”
Carter found the manuscript “at a secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of To Kill A Mockingbird”.
The book will be published in the US by HarperCollins and in the UK by William Heinemann.
To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the most beloved novels ever written, with worldwide sales of over 40 million.