Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a Watchman Controversy over Publication

In the summer of 2015, great controversy surrounded the legalities of publishing Go Set a Watchman. Questions arose as to whether or not Harper Lee had been used for corporate gain. The author died just about half a year later, and yet the debate continues on. Some, like Joe Nocera in the New York Times, claim that HarperCollins, owned by media proprietor Rupert Murdoch, used the publication of this novel as an epic money-grab. Lee’s lawyer, Tonja Carter, has also been accused of using the author, who, before Go Set a Watchman, had refused to publish another book. She only claimed To Kill a Mockingbird under her name. Carter claimed to have discovered the manuscript in 2014, although some evidence has surfaced that she may have had it in knowledge or possession as early as 2011.

Others claim that this notion of using Harper Lee in her frailty and perhaps partial senility is “utter nonsense,” and that Lee was in full control of her faculties and able to give consent to publication. In fact, this side states that Lee, especially in her old age, wanted to contribute this last first artifact of her beloved novel.