This week saw the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman . Whilst it has received mixed reviews, I’ve decided that it will be one to add to my TBR list and I’ll make up my own mind.
With all the media attention over the release of Go Set a Watchman and reading To Kill a Mockingbird in high school, I naturally headed over to Wikipedia to find out a little more about its author, Harper Lee.
In high school, To Kill a Mockingbird was one of the novels we read for english class, as well as watching the 1962 film adaptation. As I’ve said before, I was the kind of student who loved when it was the time of term when we did novel studies, the novel we were meant to read over the term was usually read in just a few nights and To Kill a Mockingbird was no exception. I can’t even remember what grade I was in at the time, year 10 perhaps, but I knew nothing about what the novel was about or how it was once (and still is) considered to be rather controversial in the themes and topics it addresses until we began our novel study. Needless to say, I finished the book quite quickly, as always and enjoyed both the film and the novel, but that’s the last I really thought about it.
When I saw in my newsfeed that Harper Lee was releasing another novel that in fact was part of a series that To Kill a Mockingbird was intended to be, I found myself intrigued as to what type of person Harper Lee was. With the quick answers that the internet provides us with these days as opposed to when I was in high school (we had internet, but with the download limits, the internet was strictly for necessary school work), I googled Harper Lee without hesitation.
Coming across the Wikipedia page, I was a little surprised to find that Harper Lee was a woman, I have no idea why, but for some reason I always thought that the Mockingbird author was male. I was even more surprised to find that To Kill a Mockingbird was 89 year old Lee’s only published novel until the release of Go Set a Watchman. I guess I just assumed that with the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, in both novel and film, that it would just be one in a long list of works, but I was wrong. In fact, according to Wikipedia, in 1999 To Kill a Mockingbird was voted the “Best Novel of the 20th Century” in a poll by the Library Journal. Whilst Lee has written of pieces, Mockingbird was actually her only published novel until the release of Go Set a Watchman.
I was also intrigued to read about the semi-autobiographical nature of To Kill a Mockingbird and the connection between Harper Lee and Truman Capote. It is also rumoured that this latest publication is actually part of a trilogy, which would be interesting to see. At the ripe age of 89 will Harper Lee release a third novel after stating that she would never publish another novel after Mockingbird?
On another note, I’ve written a few times about my introduction to the Outlander series recently, I’m now onto the second book in the series and I only have one word to describe Diana Gabaldon’s work….. AMAZING! Do yourselves a favour and add the series to your TBR list if you haven’t already. As for Go Set a Watchman, I’m waiting until later in the year to order both books in hardcover and reading them one after the other to get a proper feel of them and make up my own mind about Go Set a Watchman, until then I’ll try and ignore the spoilers and media sensation over the “racist” Atticus Finch.
* facts and information on Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman and To Kill a Mockingbird retrieved from Wikipedia.
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