Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Listen to Reese Witherspoon read the first chapter of Harper Lee's 'Go Set A Watchman'

rexfeatures_4866925i.jpg

We are four days away from the release of Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee's sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, but The Guardian has unveiled the first chapter to the book alongside Reese Witherspoon's official narrated version for the audiobook, today.

The Oscar-winning actress reads an extract from the new book (just under 24 minutes) which sees an adult Scout returning to Maycomb from New York to visit her father. 

Earlier this year, Witherspoon told USA Today that, “as a Southerner, it is an honour and a privilege to give voice to the Southern characters who inspired by childhood love of reading, Scout and Atticus Finch.”

She added that she is “eager for readers to be transported to a pivotal time in American history in the manner that only Lee’s gorgeous prose can deliver.”

Harper Lee pictured in May 1961

Harper Lee pictured in May 1961

Lee, 88, won a Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mockingbird, her debut novel, which told the story of a black man charged with raping a white woman in small town Depression-era Alabama, narrated through the eyes of tomboy youngster Scout.

It became an instant bestseller in 1960, capturing the imagination of thousands of readers with its heartwarming and quietly devastating narrative.

Lee first penned a manuscript for the sequel book in the 1950s, but her editor was "who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout's childhood" convinced her to write a novel from the point of view of the young Scout.   

In a statement released by her publishers Penguin Random House, the novelist said she had believed the manuscript for her original book to be long lost, "so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it".

The sequel has become the most pre-ordered title on Amazon since the final Harry Potter book, the online retailer said today

Be the first to listen to Reese Witherspoon's narration of Go Set A Watchman below.

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee is out on 14 July at £18.99. The full unabridged audiobook narrated by Reese Witherspoon will be available to download on 14 July at £18.99.

Go set a watchman

Comments

More

Watch: Anna Kendrick reveals her favourite female writers

"They have written these beautiful, funny, wonderful books.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Why you should keep a list of every book you’ve ever read

An act of honesty in a 'fake' digital age

by Anna Brech
25 May 2017

UK publisher launches new imprint to address diversity in books

Fewer than 100 books written by non-white British authors were published last year

by Sarah Biddlecombe
16 May 2017

Emily Browning slams Twilight series as “emotionally abusive”

Aussie actor was Stephenie Meyer’s first pick to play Bella

by Joe Ellison
16 May 2017

Here’s how you can (legally) watch The Handmaid’s Tale in the UK

We finally have the answer

by Kayleigh Dray
16 May 2017

These are the books you need to read, according to female TED speakers

12 inspirational tomes to add to your reading list

by Sarah Biddlecombe
15 May 2017

Two brilliant word-of-mouth books to pop on your summer reading list

Load up your Kindle, pronto

by Anna Brech
10 May 2017

Book lovers, this is what your reading habits say about you

Good news for drama and romance fans

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 May 2017

A second series of The Handmaid’s Tale has been confirmed

“It will be an interesting challenge, since I myself have never known what happened to Offred”

by Amy Swales
04 May 2017

Book-lovers, this intriguing new site will broaden your horizons

Lounge Books features "people-powered" recommendations

by Anna Brech
01 May 2017