Monday, 6 April 2015

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee, 2015

I intend to read this 288-page book after it is released on July 14, 2015, exactly fifty-five years (thanks, Sergio) after the celebrated but reclusive author wrote her award-winning To Kill a Mockingbird (1960).

© Harper
Go Set a Watchman, a title borrowed from Isaiah 21:6, is said to be a prequel to Harper Lee’s debut novel. She wrote it before To Kill a Mockingbird, her only published novel till date, though media reports have labelled it as a sequel.

Describing Go Set a Watchman as “An historic literary event,” Publisher Harper said it was originally written in the mid-1950s. Harper Lee first submitted it to her publishers but it was never published—“Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.”

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch-Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving (her father) Atticus, (his attitude toward) society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

“Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.”

It’d be interesting to read Go Set a Watchman and then immediately reread To Kill a Mockingbird and connect the lost thread between the two novels that have somewhat similar covers. 

15 comments:

  1. I'm planning on reading it, too. I'm amazed Lee authorized this publication, actually.

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    1. Elizabeth, I read the story behind the "discovery" of this book with interest and I look forward to reading it.

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  2. I will certainly be really interested to see what it is like. Like most people I know, love the book (and the 1962 movie too). I noticed small typo in your opening para Prashant - 55 years, not 50, yes?

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    1. Sergio, I look forward to reading your review of the book. I'd, however, like to watch TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD again as I don't remember it as well as the book.

      Sergio, I think it's 55 years from one book to another, counting 1960 to 2015.

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    2. Sergio, I owe you an apology. You were right about the typo. The error didn't register even after I read your comment. The "fifty" still looked like "fifty-five" to my eyes till I noticed it a few minutes ago.

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  3. I will also read it. I only read To kill a mockingbird last year and found it wonderful

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    1. Charles, absolutely. What an impact just one novel can make! I want to read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD all over again but I'll wait till after I read its prequel.

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  4. Yes, like so many of us I am looking forward to this and will no doubt read them both end to end.

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    1. Moira, I look forward to reading your unique take on the book. I wonder how it will be received by the literary world.

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  5. Suppose I ought to read Mockingbird first and then see. I get the feeling a lot of people w.ill be chatting about it anyway

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    1. Col, people have been "chatting" about MOCKINGBIRD for decades, so I won't be surprised if this book gets the same kind of publicity.

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  6. I think many people will read the two books one after the other, in whichever order suits them, when this is published. I read MOCKINGBIRD so long ago, I'm not sure if I want to.

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    1. Richard, I intend to read both the books in tandem. It'd be nice to read MOCKINGBIRD again after all these years.

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  7. There will be so many people reading and reviewing this novel, I will wait and see what they say before I give it a try. It will probably be interesting reading.

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    1. Tracy, I'm sure it'll be interesting though I doubt if it'll have the same appeal as MOCKINGBIRD.

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