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‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author causes fan frenzy
Posted by :Team Aman newsPosted date : February 13, 2015In BooksComments Off on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author causes fan frenzy
To Kill a Mockingbird, the story of
race and growing up in Alabama in the 1930s, was loosely based on Lee’s own experiences. PHOTO: REUTERS
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee will publish her second novel, 55 years after the release of her classic To Kill a Mockingbird, her publisher said on Tuesday. Go Set a Watchman, which is set in the 1950s and features lead characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some 20 years older, is scheduled to be published on July 14 by publisher Harper, reported Reuters.
The book was actually written in the 1950s, before To Kill a Mockingbird, and Lee, 88, thought it had been lost. Lee said she was “humbled and amazed” that the manuscript was to be published after so many years, AFP reported. “I hadn’t realised it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it,” she said in a statement. “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.”
Of the book, Lee shared, “It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort.” She added, “My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel from the point of view of the young Scout. I was a first-time writer so I did as I was told.”
In Go Set a Watchman, Scout returns from New York to visit her father, Atticus, in the fictional town of Maycomb, where she struggles with personal and political issues and tries to understand her father’s view toward society as well as her own conflicted feelings about her hometown.
To Kill a Mockingbird, the story of race and growing up in Alabama in the 1930s, was loosely based on Lee’s own experiences. It was published in 1960 just as the US civil rights movement was gaining momentum and became required reading in many American schools.
The book, which has sold an estimated 30 million copies, has resonated with readers across cultural lines. “It’s important for the issues that it raised about gender and race differences,” said Thadious Davis, a University of Pennsylvania professor of English, who specialises in African-American and Southern literature. American novelist biographer Charles Shields said that To Kill a Mockingbird found success, in part, because “it poses the fundamental question of how do I get along with people who are different from me?”
Shields said he first came across references to Go Set a Watchman when reading early correspondence between Lee and her literary agent while researching his acclaimed biography about Lee. He said the recent death of sister Alice Lee, a lawyer who was seen as the manager of Lee’s career, may have eased the way for the second novel to be published.
“This is a remarkable literary event,” said Jonathan Burnham, Harper publisher and senior vice president. “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,” he added. “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.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2015.
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