The literary world is jubilant today, upon hearing the news that Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Harper Lee, will be releasing a second book in July of this year, some 55 years after the publication of the modern-classic To Kill A Mockingbird, which has sold over 40 million copies worldwide

The second book, which is entitled Go Set A Watchman, was in fact written before To Kill A Mockingbird, and follows the story of the same beloved protagonist, Scout, as a grown woman, as she returns from New-York to Maycomb to visit her father.

"She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood," said the publisher, Penguin Random House.

The manuscript was believed to have been lost, which is why it has not been published to date. Lee, who is now 88 years old, explains how writing the first book lead to her creation of the perennially popular, and often studied To Kill A Mockingbird, and her delight at the discovery and publication of her original novel: 

"It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort," Lee said in a statement. "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." she explains. She goes on to say: "I hadn't realised it had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. 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. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years."

Harper Lee new book