2015 Archives

Prof. Thomas DiPiero talks about Harper Lee's recently discovered second novel

Dedman College dean is both a fan and an authority on 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

February 5, 2015

Thomas DiPieroIt was announced earlier this week that a second novel by Harper Lee, author of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, had been discovered and was going to be published. This came after years of Lee declining interviews and resisting offers to publish more novels.

Professor Thomas DiPiero, dean of SMU's Dedman College and an authority on To Kill a Mockingbird, was interviewed by BBC Radio about the discovery and upcoming publication of Go Set a Watchman. Listen to the interview. audio icon

The Feb. 3, 2015, announcement by HarperCollins Publishers:

Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is thrilled to announce it has acquired North American rights to a newly discovered novel by Harper Lee, beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel, which Lee titled Go Set a Watchman will be published on July 14th, 2015.

The deal was negotiated by Michael Morrison, President and Publisher of HarperCollins US General Books Group and Canada, via Harper Lee's lawyer, Tonja Carter.

Harper Lee says, "In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman. It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort. 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. I hadn't realized 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."

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 her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

Read the full announcement.

Thomas DiPiero talks about To Kill a Mockingbird

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