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Harper Lee, author of 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' will publish her second novel in July

The author Harper Lee will release a second novel this July
The author Harper Lee will release a second novel this July
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Harper Lee, the author of the 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbirdannounced on Tuesday that she will release a second novel this summer.

88-year-old Lee, who is notoriously private and does not give many interviews, has not been working on an entirely new novel. Instead, she will release a previously  unpublished work completed before To Kill a Mockingbird titled Go Set a WatchmanAccording to the AP, this is a novel that Lee started in the 1950s, set aside, and has since returned to and finished.

Lee said in a statement to her publisher Harper that the novel is a kind of prequel to Scout's story, and that the manuscript had been previously misplaced.

"In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called `Go Set a Watchman,' It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout's childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became `To Kill a Mockingbird') from the point of view of the young Scout.

"I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told. I hadn't realized it (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. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years."

Go Set a Watchman will be released on July 14.