Watch out, world: Go Set a Watchman is coming.
The news broke yesterday that 88-year-old author Harper Lee will be publishing a second book. The novel, written before her classic To Kill A Mockingbird, was thought to be lost, and then allegedly rediscovered by Lee's lawyer, Tonja Carter.
“It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman and I thought it a pretty decent effort,” Lee said in a statement released by HarperCollins, who will publish the book this summer. “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. I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told.”
The news is undoubtedly exciting, but folks on the Internet have raised concerns about Lee's consent in releasing the second novel. Neither HarperCollins nor Carter would tell The Guardian whether the publisher met with or spoke directly to Lee, and the publisher of HaperCollins told The New York Times that speaking with Lee “wasn’t necessary.” Lee is famously intensely private and once said: "As long as I am alive any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood."
Of course, fans hope that this new novel is, in fact, released with Lee's full knowledge and consent. We asked women in the HuffPost newsroom and our Facebook community to explain why To Kill A Mockingbird has meant so much to them, and we gathered some of the best tweets on the subject.
Here are 13 reasons why Harper Lee's work matters so much to women:
1. "Growing up in the South, I saw Harper Lee as a most important mouthpiece and reminder that my stories could matter. As a New York transplant, I'm especially excited to read about a city-dwelling adult Scout and her Alabama homecoming."
-- Caroline Bologna, Associate Editor, HuffPost Parents
55 years between books. as a first-time author, this gives me hope. http://t.co/MqLGOlcsUs
— Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) February 3, 2015
3. "I grew up in a small Texas community, steeped in generations of prejudice. I saw the movie first. It stunned me. Then I read the novel. Again and again. It changed my life, the way I think, the way I view justice, the way I view people of color. I owe so much to To Kill A Mockingbird."
-- Leslie Hall Noyes, Facebook comment
4. "Hands down, [To Kill A Mockingbird is] the best book I've ever read. Stand up for what's right, even if you're alone. I can't wait to read the new one."
-- Tara Rote, Facebook comment
@shondarhimes Just wondering if you've already started, are mid or post happy dance about the Harper Lee news today?
— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) February 3, 2015
6. "Always stand up for what is right, no matter what! To Kill A Mockingbird will always be one of my favorite, most cherished books."
-- Alexandra Leigh Weyman, Facebook comment
Harper Lee is 88 and brave. The artist's spirit burns bright long after we may think it is gone. Always in there somewhere. xo
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) February 3, 2015
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is my favorite book! So excited to hear Harper Lee is publishing a second novel (which she actually wrote first).
— Valerie Jarrett (@vj44) February 3, 2015
9. "I'm a high school English teacher, and To Kill A Mockingbird still resonates and speaks to the truths (albeit ugly truths) present today. Lee's writing is approachable yet deep. I must be one of the 2 million who will hold her new novel on its release."
-- Lindsey Rheault Cossette, Facebook comment
10. "Obviously, this is huge for the book world. Imagine if we could get inside the head of an older Holden Caulfield or Lizzy Bennett! Regardless of whether the story about Scout's adult life measures up to 'Mockingbird,' it'll be a monumental event."
-- Madeleine Crum, Editor, HuffPost Books
11. "Her writing was a beautiful escape from a school where I was bullied and outcast for being a 'nerd'."
-- Fiona Riches, Facebook comment
This new Harper Lee novel news is the literary equivalent of a surprise Bey album, if you need some context
— Rachel Syme (@rachsyme) February 3, 2015