Harper Lee’s Poignant Narrative Continues With ‘GO Set A Watchman’by Rajshree Faria July 18, 2015
After a wait of more than half a century, the woman who redefined American Literature with her book ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ has resurfaced with her next title ‘Go Set a Watchman’. Winning a Pulitzer Prize for her stirring writing on a serious social issue like rape and racism, Harper Lee has been revered as one of the most perceptive writers of the past century. Hence, it’s understandable that once her fans and the literary world become aware of her latest book, there was massive eagerness to pitch a tent outside bookstores to buy the first copies of what can easily be assumed to be another masterpiece. Read on to find out more about the new novel that is set 20 years after the events of the first novel…
The new novel finds Scout, now a 26 year old woman living in New York, visiting her aging father in her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama. The book follows her as her illusion of her father Atticus Finch, as the moral hero is shattered. The character, which defended a black man accused of raping a white woman at a time when racial prejudice was at its peak, a man of integrity, is seen in the new book as the man who stands for segregation based on color. This part of the story which was revealed ahead of the book’s release has certainly been a shocker for those who held ‘Atticus Finch’ as a synonym for ‘morality’.
The book, published by HarperCollins in the U.S, is 278 pages long. The blue cover has an image of a tree and a train in the distance, moving down a track. A bird flying from a tree with small town buildings at the bottom is the image that graces the back cover.
It might be amusing to know that ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was originally the first draft of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ which has been rewritten to form what we now know as the second novel. There had been reports of how the book was being released against Lee’s volition, citing her ill health and growing age as a factor along with her previous statement of how ‘To Kill a Mocking bird’ will be her only book. However, her long time friend Wayne Flynt had rubbished the reports.
With such a promising storyline, it is no surprise that ‘Go Set a Watchman’ has been, according to Amazon, the most pre-ordered book after ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’.
The fact that a bookstore in Monroeville, the author’s hometown and the setting of the first novel, ordered 10,000 copies of the book in a town whose population is a mere 6,300 speaks volumes about Lee’s legacy that compels fans from around the state to visit the small town to participate in the literary event.
Go ahead, grab your hard copy of what is sure to be a wonderful book, or maybe buy a Kindle version and spend your lazy afternoon getting lost in the brave writings of Harper Lee…