The first book by Harper Lee to hit our shelves since her award-winning, To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960, Go Set a Watchman looks set to be another best-seller and is firmly on our radar.
Go Set a Watchman focuses around the characters previously introduced in Lee’s first book and delves further into the racial and cultural psyche of America. Atticus Finch, the lawyer who famously defended a black man accused of rape, is now seemingly a racist, segregationist and un-supporting of the civil rights movement.
The novel is set after To Kill a Mockingbird and although described as a sequel, was originally the first draft of the book. Lee was encouraged by her publisher to rewrite the book and so To Kill a Mockingbird was born. The book has become an American classic since its publication in 1960, and it went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. The original manuscript was thought to have been lost but was recently found in a safety deposit box in Lee’s hometown of Monroeville.
The new novel has caused some controversy, which if anything has only served to draw attention to its publication. Many have called the timing of the book ‘suspicious’ given that Lee is suffering from worsening health and perhaps more importantly that she has made several statements over the years, declaring that she would not write or publish another novel.
There has also been a furore with many fans surrounding the sudden bombshell that one of the main characters, Atticus Finch, is portrayed as a racist. Once this news hit the literary world, Twitter, the internet and news outlets exploded.
Despite the controversy surrounding the book, interest has not been diminished. The book had already overtaken Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the most pre-ordered book on Amazon. It has also topped the US fiction bestseller charts for five weeks running and has sold over one million copies already.
You can purchase Go Set a Watchman here, or at any good bookstore.