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‘Go Set a Watchman’ Hits No. 1 on Amazon

Harper Lee’s second novel, ‘Go Set a Watchman’ has reached No. 1 on Amazon’s best-selling list since its surprise announcement on Feb. 3.

The manuscript for ‘Watchman’ was set aside and forgotten until recently, Lee’s lawyer Tonja Carter found it in the family firm’s private storage when she was doing some legal work last summer, according to an interview with the New York Times.

Carter, confused, called Lee to ask if the manuscript was finished. Lee said, “Complete? I guess so. It was the parent of “Mockingbird.” Lee believed it has been lost all these years, but now she’s “surprised and delighted” that it had been found. Go Set a Watchman will be released on July 2015 – more than 50 years after Lee published her only novel, “the one-hit wonder”, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

Set 20 years after the famed novel, when Scout has grown up and she visits her lawyer father, Atticus in their hometown of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Civil Rights era. It was written in the 1950s before ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ as the preceding story of Scout, but her editor saw a whole new story in Scout’s flashbacks as a child and advised Lee to write a stand-alone novel coming from the young lead’s perspective.

“I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realized it 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.”

Lee expressed in a statement issued by her publisher, Harper.



Grabbed from The Guardian

The much-awaited novel will be released in 304 pages with an initial print run of two million copies.

“This is a remarkable literary event. The existence of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was unknown until recently, and its discovery is an extraordinary gift to the many readers and fans of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

Reading in many ways like a sequel to Harper Lee’s classic novel, 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.” Harper’s senior vice president and publisher, Jonathan Burnham said in a statement.

Along with the hype of ‘Go Set a Watchman’, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ also boosted sales in Amazon, recently jumping to top 10. Since the author announced on her 88th birthday last July 8th, that the novel will be available as an e-book and audiobook, the novel vivified its ever glorious presence, but it catapulted even more so after the news of releasing ‘Watchman’.

Lee openly expressed her preference for traditional books, so her fans were surprised when she agreed to release ‘Mockingbird’ as an e-book. In 2006, she wrote an open letter to Oprah Winfrey, admiring good, old-fashioned books:

“In an abundant society where people have laptops, cellphones, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me. I prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it.”

Since the feat of her first novel, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1960, the reclusive author has shy away from the public’s eye, refusing to do interviews or make public appearances. Lee said in a rare statement:

“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. I am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived this long. This is Mockingbird for a new generation.”

‘Mockingbird’ continues to strive in top sales, together with ‘Go Set a Watchman’s’ early success, soaring to its debut.

Written by: selfpublish

Derek is a book cover designer finishing a PhD in Literature. These days he spends his time building tools and resources to help indie authors publish better on his blog, Read More


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