Law in Popular Culture

Meet Scout as 'a reasonable facsimile of a human being' in first chapter of Harper Lee's new book

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Go Set a Watchman

Readers eager to catch up with Scout and other characters of To Kill a Mockingbird can read the first chapter of Harper Lee’s newly published novel, Go Set a Watchman.

In Watchman, Scout goes by her real name, Jean Louise; is in her 20s; and has “turned into a reasonable facsimile of a human being,” according to the text. Atticus is 72 and intent on continuing his law practice despite his rheumatoid arthritis, with the help of Henry Clinton, who hopes to marry Jean Louise. Her brother Jem is deceased, having “dropped dead in his tracks one day.”

The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and the Guardian published the chapter; the New York Times and the Associated Press have summaries. The full book will be released on July 14.

Watchman was written before Mockingbird. When Lee submitted it to editors, she was advised to write a different book from the perspective of Scout as a child.

Related articles: “Harper Lee appears ‘breezily self-assured’ about book release; when was manuscript discovered?” “Upcoming release of Harper Lee’s second book boosts ‘Mockingbird’ sales” “Harper Lee probe is closed with no finding of abuse” “Announcement of new Harper Lee book stirs excitement and ‘a whiff of controversy’”

See also: “‘The Secret of Magic’ awarded the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction”

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