Go Set a Watchman follows the adult Scout and hits shelves July 14

By Tara Fowler
Updated February 03, 2015 11:25 AM
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Harper Lee enthusiasts, rejoice!

The reclusive author will release a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird this summer, her first new work in more than 50 years and her second book ever, the publisher Harper announced Tuesday.

Originally written in the 1950s, Go Set a Watchman is effectively a follow-up to Lee’s popular debut, though it was actually penned years before.

“In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called Go Set a Watchman,” the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement.

“It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort,” she said. “My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel from the point of view of the young Scout.”

That book was, of course, To Kill a Mockingbird, which was originally published in 1960 and has since gone on to become a high school staple.

Lee continued: “I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn’t realized [the original book] had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it.

“After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication,” she said modestly. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.”

Mark your calendars: Go Set a Watchman hits shelves July 14.