Everything we know so far about Go Set A Watchman

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird ‘sequel’ is released 14 July, and here’s what we’re excited about

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Everything we know so far about Go Set A Watchman

HarperCollins

Well, it’s taken over 50 years, but we finally have a new Harper Lee book to fawn over. Go Set A Watchman is all set to come out next week, or more specifically, on Tue 14 Jul 2015. Now that the final countdown is on, we’ve rounded up everything we know so far about the much-anticipated To Kill A Mockingbird ‘sequel’ (of sorts).

Background
The novel was originally written in the mid-1950s, before Harper Lee had even penned TKAM, which was published in 1960. It was set aside when Lee’s editor suggested that the story should be written from Scout’s perspective, and Lee’s first novel as we know it was born.
It is believed that Go Set A Watchman was discovered in 2014, when Lee’s lawyer, Tonja B Carter, set about reviewing an old manuscript and stumbled across the original text for GSAW. Some news outlets, however, have recently reported that the transcript was found in October 2011, although both HarperCollins and Carter herself have said that the former story is correct.

Plot
It’s the story of Scout Finch, but not as we know her. The wee girl is actually 20 years older than when we first meet her in To Kill A Mockingbird, and she is travelling from New York City to visit her father, the wonderful Atticus, in Maycomb, Alabama, where she was born and raised. The book explores Atticus’ social and political views, and follows Scout’s journey as she tries to understand them.

Title
The title of the book is a reference to Isaiah 21:6: ‘For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth’. A watchman is essentially a moral compass, which readers of Lee’s work will know can also be defined as an Atticus Finch.

Events
Waterstones stores across the country are celebrating the release with a series of reading events, quizzes and midnight openings. Some branches, including Edinburgh’s West End, are even screening the 1962 film adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck.

The much-anticipated novel has become HarperCollins’ most pre-ordered book in history. If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to sort out where you’ll be picking up a copy of the book, whose discovery has been heralded as one of the literary sensations of the century.

To Kill a Mockingbird

  • 4 stars
  • 1962
  • US
  • 129 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Robert Mulligan
  • Cast: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton

Sturdy film adaptation of the classic Harper Lee novel which won an Oscar for Peck as a liberal lawyer in the Deep South defending a black man accused of rape. The material is delicately handled as Peck attempts to explain the situation to his children, and Duvall makes his screen debut as their friend, a man with…

To Kill A Mocking Bird (12A) In Association With Booka Bookshop

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In our workshop today author Tanya Landman looks at To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This classic of modern American literature is loosely based on an event in the author’s own childhood. Despite dealing with serious issues, the story exudes warmth and humour. Expect an open discussion from the start: you can either…

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