‘Mockingbird’ sees sequel

Olivia Barfield

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Students learned earlier this month that author Harper Lee will publish a second book to follow her famous first.

The sequel comes 55 years after her successful novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Brittany Lonadier said she read “To Kill a Mockingbird” in high school and loved it. Lonadier also said she is excited about the sequel.

“I look forward to seeing Scout all grown up. We all know about Scout’s childhood and the environment she grew up in so it’s going to be interesting to see how that shaped her into the adult she is,” said Lonadier, a sophomore English education major.

Lee’s publisher announced that two million copies of the book titled “Go Set a Watchman” will be released July 14 of this year. The book will also be made available on electronic devices.

Lee completed “Go Set a Watchman” in the 1950s before she ever started “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

“Go Set a Watchman” recounts the story of the character named Scout as an adult. The book is like a sequel to the first novel in multiple ways including being set two decades after the first novel is set. Scout is the young girl in “Mockingbird.”

The document was rediscovered last year as Lee, 88, said in a statement from her publisher, according to CNN.

Lee said she wrote “Go Set a Watchman” first. Her editor persuaded her to write another novel from the point of view of young Scout.

Lee had not realized that the original book had survived until her friend and lawyer, Tonya Carter, found it.

“I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years,” Lee said.

Lee wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird” after she moved from Alabama (where the book is set) to New York. The book, published in 1960, won a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a 1962 Oscar-winning film. Until the discovery of the sequel’s manuscript, it had been her only published novel.

According to CNN, Jonathan Burnham, Harper’s senior vice president and publisher, called “Go Set a Watchman” “a remarkable literary event.” Burnham said that “Watchman” reads like a sequel to the classic “Mockingbird.”

“It is a compelling and ultimately moving narrative about a father and a daughter’s relationship, and the life of a small Alabama town living through the racial tensions of the 1950s,” Burnham said.

Some ULM students said they are excited about the new novel but are unsure that it will do “To Kill a Mockingbird” justice.

“I think it will be interesting to see what she does with the characters, but I don’t see it living up to the greatness of To Kill a Mockingbird,” said Abbie Massey, a sophomore English major.