Harper Lee Turns A New Page

After the announcement that Harper Lee will be publishing a new book, there has been some controversy on whether or not her mental condition is steady enough after the death of her sister.

Emmy Walker, Columnist

Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” has recently released exciting news: a sequel will be released in just a few short months titled “Go Set a Watchman.” “To Kill a Mockingbird” is about a girl named Scout who is growing up in the 1930s and the sequel also revolves around Scout, who is now grown up and visiting her hometown. “Go Set a Watchman” was actually written first,  but Lee’s publisher requested that she focused more on Scout’s childhood, resulting in the birth of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Lee thought that she had lost the original manuscript of “Go Set a Watchman,” but it was found recently, more than 50 years later. This book will be published as a sequel that will be released in July.

With this news, there has also been plenty of controversy. Lee is 88-years-old now and she announced the book’s release soon after her sister died. She was incredibly close to her sister, Alice Lee, who had supported her throughout the publishing of her book. Lee decided to publish her second book not long after Alice’s death, which has caused suspicions to arise that she was being manipulated to publish a sequel. She had also previously said that she wanted “To Kill a Mockingbird” to be her only book published.

Something about the situation seemed fishy to many people. After an elder-abuse investigation, nothing appeared to be wrong. Lee was able to answer questions about the new book with ease; thankfully, she is clear to publish “Go Set A Watchman.”

When I heard about the controversy over this situation, I couldn’t help but feel bad for Lee. Yes, it has been many years and she has been through a lot, which may have caused issues concerning her mental state. She is 88-years-old, had a stroke (which caused hearing loss and vision problems), and she recently lost her sister. Her sister had always been there for her, protecting her from the press and remaining by her side. The thought of going through a publication without Alice by her side must be depressing and terrifying, all at the same time. However, this may just be the thing that will help her through her time of grieving. She is older now, yes, but it doesn’t mean she is incapable of making her own decisions.