Carter, who has been caught up amid allegations that the 88-year-old author was pressurised into publishing the novel against her will, has indicated that a third manuscript was found in the safe-deposit box where Go Set A Watchman was discovered
Writing a Wall Street Journal article in an effort to put the controversies surrounding the book’s publication to rest, Carter clarified she did not realise the manuscript she found in 2014 was Go Set A Watchman until she heard Lee’s family and friends allude to it as Lee’s “second novel”.
She goes on to say that she noticed another manuscript that had been placed inside the safety-deposit box “underneath a stack of a significant number of pages of another typed text”.
“Was it an earlier draft of Watchman, or of Mockingbird?” she writes, “or even, as early correspondence indicates it might be, a third book bridging the two?”
The possibility of Lee having completed a third novel has been alluded to before, with some sources claiming the third manuscript was a draft of Atticus, the original name given to To Kill A Mockingbird.
It remains to be seen whether the third manuscript is indeed a novel, or an earlier draft of her other two books. Early reviews of Go Set A Watchman, which is set 20 years after Mockingbird but written five or so years before its publication, suggest the book reads more like a draft than a fully formed novel.
Carter, who worked in a law firm that Harper’s father starter, says that “experts at [Lee’s] discretion” will soon examine and authenticate the safe-deposit box’s contents to verify what exactly the third manuscript is.
Could a third Lee novel be revealed to the world soon?
Best summer reads 2015
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Controversy surrounding Go Set A Watchman
When news of Lee's new novel broke in February, the official statement from her publisher at Harper Collins read: “The original manuscript of the novel was considered to have been lost until fall 2014, when Tonja Carter discovered it in a secure location where it had been affixed to an original typescript of To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Days later, it was thought the elderly author may have been pressured into publishing the new book after it emerged her late sister Alice, a lawyer who administered her young sister’s affairs, wrote in 2011: “Harper can’t see and can’t hear and will sign anything put before her by anyone in whom she has confidence.”
In a statement responding to the concerns, Lee said: “I’m alive and kicking and happy as hell with the reactions to Watchman.”Reuse content