Mockingbird Alive

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then …
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… and now

Fifty-five years after the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee will release her second novel, Go Set a Watchman, in July 2015. The new novel, to be published by HarperCollins, is a sequel to Lee’s classic.

The 88-year-old author, who now resides in an assisted living home in Alabama, wrote the follow-up in the mid-1950s. It didn’t see the light of day until it was recently found at “a secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of To Kill a Mockingbird,” according to the publisher.

Lee is famously publicity-shy and hasn’t spoken publicly about her work since the 1960s. Having been told by the original publisher, Lippincott, that “Mockingbird” would probably sell only a few thousand copies, she found the book’s success overwhelming. In a 1964 interview with Roy Newquist, she said, “I never expected any sort of success with ‘Mockingbird.’ … I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but … I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement … I hoped for a little, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I’d expected.”

The novel hasn’t been out of print since its publication. index


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