Go Set a Watchman: Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

I am eager to read Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, a long-anticipated and now highly controversial book, dividing reviewers and readers.

As a young boy, I read and admired the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, and then watched and admired the 1962 screen version, featuring a towering, Oscar-winning performance by Gregory Peck, in his most full realized and best known part.

Critics dismissed it as a rough draft for To Kill a Mockingbird and readers despaired over an aging, racist Atticus Finch.

Our review of Hey, Boo–Docu about Harper Lee

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

But Harper Lee‘s Go Set a Watchman is still a best-selling book.

HarperCollins announced Monday that Go Set a Watchman has already sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S. and Canada, a figure which includes first-week sales and months of pre-orders.

The publisher stunned the world in February when it revealed that a second novel was coming from Lee, who had long insisted that To Kill a Mockingbird would be her only book.

Go Set a Watchman was completed before To Kill a Mockingbird, but is set 20 years later. Critics and readers were startled to find Atticus disparaging blacks and condemning the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw segregation in public schools.