Go Set a Watchman, the sequel to Harper Lee's masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird, has been the subject of great controversy since its announcement last year. Speculation fermented around the ethics of releasing the book to the public; some members of the publishing community suspected Lee had been manipulated into publishing the work. Lee hasn't been available publicly for interviews, but a handful of people close to her have said the author willfully chose to publish the book and is insulted by rumors saying otherwise. Business Week has published a lengthy report on what the author wants, along with a provocative cover (below).
Now, we're days away from the release of the book itself. For promotion, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal have been awarded the opportunity to publish the first chapter of the book, along with an audio recording of actress Reese Witherspoon reading the text with a slight Southern accent. I strongly recommend The Guardian option, which has a superior and more enjoyable layout.
Here's Witherspoon on the text:
"It shocked me, as being a modern woman in 2015, reading some of the words. I had to keep reminding myself it was written in the '50s, and these were the complex issues that people of the day were dealing with," she says. "And old attitudes and modern thinking was just evolving about race relations in our country. So I think you will feel all that complexity in the piece."