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Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

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Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. 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.

If you like Harper Lee you might also like to read books by John Steinbeck and J D Salinger.


Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird. Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch - 'Scout' - returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past - a journey that can be guided only by one's own conscience. Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humour and effortless precision - a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to a classic.


'A new work, and a pleasure, revelation and genuine literary event...Go Set a Watchman shakes the settled view of both an author and her novel...This publication intensifies the regret that Harper Lee published so little.' -- Mark Lawson Guardian

'Go Set a Watchman is the more radical, ambitious and politicised of the two novels Lee has now published...It has contemporary relevance where Mockingbird is safely sealed off as a piece of American history...It does not undermine Mockingbird but it makes a reassessment of that story absolutely necessary...It is a book of enormous literary interest...Beguiling and distinctive, and reminiscent of Mockingbird...Go Set a Watchman can't be dismissed as literary scraps from Lee's
imagination. It has too much integrity for that.' -- Arifa Akbar Independent

'More edgy and thought provoking [than To Kill a Mockingbird] ... It has a power to it beyond being a mere historical curio or more lit crit material for Harper Lee studies... Eccentric characters are brightly drawn. There is Lee's trademark warmth, some droll lines and the sense of place and time is strong...[It has] a surprisingly provocative message - don't airily dismiss the prejudices of others, try to understand them.' -- Robbie Millen The Times

'The flashes of lyrical genius and ability to evoke the intensity of childhood play that come to fruition in To Kill a Mockingbird are in evidence...It's nowhere near the novel Mockingbird is. It is much better than that...What Watchman tells us, and tells us rather powerfully, is that racism is not confined to people who are so clearly not like us...Watchman is for grown-ups. It asks serious questions about what racism is. And it comes at a time when American desperately needs a grown-up conversation about race.' -- Erica Wagner New Statesman

About the Author

Harper Lee

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, a village that is still her home. She attended local schools and the University of Alabama. Before she started writing she lived in New York, where she worked in the reservations department of an international airline. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, two honorary degrees and various other literary awards. Her chief interests apart from writing are nineteenth-century literature and eighteenth-century music, watching politicians and cats, travelling and being alone. She died in February 2016.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd May 2016


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Arrow Books Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone


288 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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