Go Set A Watchman - An Opinion Piece
To Fans of "To Kill A Mockingbird"
We at Brilliant Books want to be sure that our customers are aware that “Go Set A Watchman” is not a sequel or prequel to ‘To Kill A Mockingbird'. Neither is it a new book. It is a first draft that was originally, and rightfully, rejected. The book, and some of the characters therein, are very much a product of this era in the South.
We suggest you view this work as an academic insight rather than as a nice summer novel. This situation is comparable to James Joyce's stunning work 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', and his original draft 'Stephen Hero'. 'Hero' was initially rejected, and Joyce reworked it into the classic 'Portrait'. 'Hero' was eventually released as an academic piece for scholars and fans—not as a new 'Joyce novel'. We would have been delighted to see “Go Set A Watchman” receive a similar fate.
It is disappointing and frankly shameful to see our noble industry parade and celebrate this as “Harper Lee’s New Novel”. This is pure exploitation of both literary fans and a beloved American classic (which we hope has not been irrevocably tainted.) We therefore encourage you to view “Go Set A Watchman” with intellectual curiosity and careful consideration; a rough beginning for a classic, but only that.
This piece sparked quite a controversy and garnered attention from news media around the world. Check out some of the follow up from Melville House Press.