WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 05:  Pulitzer Prize winner and "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House November 5, 2007 in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom is given to those who have made remarkable contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, culture, or other private or public endeavors.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Harper Lee

“Welcome Back, Harper Lee”

By Kevil Tice –

So, I’m scrolling down my timeline on my social media page and notice two of my friends discussing Harper Lee.  Being the avid reader I am, I immediately stopped to read the comments.  How could I have forgotten?  Her next book, Go Set a Watchman, is set to be released on July 14, 2015.

What?  You don’t know who Harper Lee is?  Well, if you attended any middle or high school in the state of Alabama, you were probably forced to read her classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.  If you were anything like me, it was love at first read.  Published July 11, 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird instantly became a bestseller and, over 50 years later, still remains.  The novel gave an account of events taking place during the childhood years of a young girl, whose father was a lawyer and was faced with tremendous racial tension within his community.  Okay, now you remember Harper Lee?  Good!

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Not only was Harper Lee born in Alabama (Monroeville to be exact), but she also attended The University of Alabama, right here in T-Town.  How cool is that? Lee never actually received a degree from the UA however, while there, she wrote for the university’s newspaper and studied law.  89 year old Lee currently resides in an assisted living facility in Monroeville.

Now, 55 years later to the date, Harper Lee is set to release her second novel.  Go Set a Watchman, actually written BEFORE To Kill a Mockingbird, describes the journey of an older Scout Finch from Lee’s first publication.  It takes place 20 years after the original events and explores the views Scout has concerning race relations and politics as an adult.  I, for one, am eagerly anticipating its release and cannot wait to bury myself in this 304 page masterpiece.  Yes, I’m already labeling it a masterpiece because I am sure it will not disappoint.

So, quick! Go read or reread To Kill a Mockingbird first.  Then, purchase Go Set a Watchman on July 14th.  After that, email me at ktice@ttownbuzz.com and give me a little book review.

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