The Other Side of the Page: Books and Comics

Read the First Chapter of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman: Prequel of To Kill a Mockingbird

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As you already know, Harper Lee’s new novel, Go Set a Watchman, will be released on July 14. The Wall Street Journal has the first chapter up this morning, which you can read for free. Having just read it myself, I can assure you that Scout retains her restlessness and sense of humor as a capable young woman now known by her formal name Jean Louise, and Lee continues to write wry observations of small town life. The chapter opens with Jean Louise traveling by train from New York City back to Maycomb County. There is one MAJOR spoiler in the chapter, so don’t read it if you can’t wait 4 more days to find out the rest of the story.

Lee submitted the novel for publication prior to writing To Kill a Mockingbird, but editors liked the flashbacks in the novel more so they encouraged her to rewrite the novel with Atticus as the focus. That’s how To Kill a Mockingbird was born. There will be a huge number of haters intent on tearing Harper Lee down over the publication of this book, because when it comes to Lee there is a strange tendency to mock and doubt her as a writer, which is absurd. Here’s hoping the book can get a free hearing on its own merits and not based on the judgment that the novel was somehow not fit to be published.

Bri and I discussed To Kill a Mockingbird and its prequel on the third episode of our podcast, What the Fangirl #5, What’s in a Name.

Alex is a lawyer and opinionated.

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