Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably seen some of the controversy surrounding Go Set a Watchman. The “sequel,” released last week, was actually written prior to To Kill A Mockingbird and focuses on Scout as an adult. Harper Lee’s editor liked the childhood flashbacks in Go Set a Watchman and encouraged Lee to rewrite the book focusing on Scout as a child and, thus, To Kill A Mockingbird was born.
Rumors and speculation abound around the “newer” novel. The timing of the book’s release along with information about Lee’s ability to provide informed consent — a drastic shift in position after years of stating she never wanted to publish again — is shady to say the least. You can read more about that here. Lack of informed consent in publishing is not new. Kafka requested that his works be destroyed after his death and he was clear throughout his lifetime that he did not want them published. In addition to issues surrounding informed consent, other controversy surrounds Harper Lee. Some have said that Harper Lee didn’t really write TKAM but rather that the book was written, at least in part, by her childhood friend Truman Capote. The Wall Street Journal published a story about data miners who analyzed both books and debunked the idea that Capote wrote TKAM.
Rumors aside, was it any good? Keep reading to see our thoughts.