Go Set a Watchman (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The wait is finally over for Harper Lee's sophomore effort. Of course, the story actually suggests that Go Set a Watchman was the manuscript that became To Kill a Mockingbird. Watchman is neither a prequel or sequel to Mockingbird. Both novels struggle to negotiate and understand the legacy of racism in the Deep South, although they do so in very different ways. In Mockingbird, Atticus is a noble saint, standing against the social tide. In Watchman, he's a bitter racist who resents the Civil Rights movement and the changing landscape in which he lives. But they are not the same character. They are parallel stories that seem to touch from time to time, but those touches are illusory.

It's worth it to read Go Set a Watchman to examine how a novel can develop over time. Creative writing students and those interested in the writing process will be fascinated. Fans of To Kill a Mockingbird eager to see how the characters they love end up will likely be disappointed. Best to read these as stories from parallel universes where the familiar is ever so slightly strange.

— From Jeremy Recommends


A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. 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 Atticus, 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.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062409850
ISBN-10: 0062409859
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: July 14th, 2015
Pages: 288
Language: English