Introductory Post to Reading ‘Go Set a Watchman’ by Harper Lee

I just started reading Go Set A Watchman and after that I will begin To Kill A Mockingbird, which I’m sad to say I haven’t read yet.  As for the latter, I’m not exactly sure how I’ve gone this far without reading this classic of American Literature. I would have thought To Kill A Mockingbird would have been required reading for all freshman English classes, but I digress.

I’m getting ready to settle into these two books and discover a little more about Harper Lee and to hear what she has to say. And since I’m about to spend a good deal of time with her, through her books, I thought a brief intro about Harper Lee and her novel Go Set A Watchman was in order.

Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, and grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. She is mainly known as the author of To Kill A Mockingbird and for her friendship with Truman Capote. Although she briefly studied law in college, she quickly realized that writing was her true passion, and moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. There, she made some friends through Capote who supported her financially for a year, allowing her to work on her writing. The first draft of her novel was Go Set A Watchman which was rewritten at the suggestion of an editor, becoming the classic we know today as To Kill A Mockingbird.  The book was published in 1960 and later won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.

It is interesting to note that Go Set A Watchman, which has now been released as a novel of it’s own, was her first draft which an editor had previously told her to rewrite from a young Scout’s point of view. She made some significant changes in the revision process and once I have read both books I should be able to get a better glimpse of her creative processes at work. For now, I’m starting at the beginning with her first book, which should reveal where she wanted to go with her novel, and then I’ll see how the story takes shape.

What do you think? Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments below.


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