Iconic American novelist Harper Lee is to publish her second book, 'Go Set a Watchman', in July.
Coming, as it does, more than 50 years after the publication of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' - and as a sequel to that Pulitzer prize-winning novel - it's fair to say that the news took Twitter users by surprise...
Turns out Harper Lee had a 2-book deal.— Mo Rocca (@MoRocca) February 3, 2015
Harper Lee just made Axl Rose feel like he rushed 'Chinese Democracy.'— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) February 3, 2015
Harper Lee is going to publish a sequel after 55 years...
and you people think I write slow.— George RR Martin (@GeorgeRRMartin_) February 3, 2015
Lazy author Harper Lee to release 2nd book.— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) February 3, 2015
55 years ago, Harper Lee told me she was "just going out for a pack of smokes."— hey Bosh (@TheBosha) February 3, 2015
Harper Lee needs to learn when to give it a rest.— Danny Wallace (@dannywallace) February 3, 2015
*pretends he knew Harper Lee was still alive*— Damien Owens (@OwensDamien) February 3, 2015
Soon, 'Harper Lee' was trending, and the jokes were coming thick and fast:
Who knew my Twitter feed had so much Harper Lee material that had thus far gone unused.— Paul_Cornell (@Paul_Cornell) February 3, 2015
UPDATE: Harper Lee decides to not publish novel after checking Twitter.— Colin Jones (@colinjones) February 3, 2015
None of these Harper Lee jokes are any good IMO. Not surprising, I don't think this was an eventuality anyone brainstormed for.— be shrill, my heart (@theshrillest) February 3, 2015
The news was inspiring to many:
Taking Harper Lee's lead, I might tweet some of the stuff sitting in my drafts folder.— Moose Allain (@MooseAllain) February 3, 2015
Harper Lee has inspired me to finally write a second good tweet, keep an eye out for that— RopesToInfinity (@RopesToInfinity) February 3, 2015
Although not everyone was 100% happy:
Yeah, but, guys, Superman has got his first new power since 1949, and I can't help thinking this Harper Lee thing is a spoiler.— Gary Bainbridge (@Gary_Bainbridge) February 3, 2015
"What's her fookin' rush?" - Ian Brown and John Squire react to the Harper Lee news.— Jason (@NickMotown) February 3, 2015
Indeed, for some, it was taken as a challenge:
J.D. Salinger's estate just announced the July publication of HOLDEN CAULFIELD: STILL CATCHIN'— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 3, 2015
Harper Lee releasing a new novel. Your move, Dr. Dre.— Eli Braden (@EliBraden) February 3, 2015
This Harper Lee/D'Angelo rivalry is really heating up.— Adam Zopf (@adamzopf) February 3, 2015
Fine, I’ll write a third book. Game on, Harper Lee. Game. On.— Mike Monteiro (@monteiro) February 3, 2015
Still, Lee could have made it an even bigger news event, if only...
If she really wanted to hit it big, Harper Lee should've written an open letter to the mockingbird.— Ferrrgle (@Ferrrgle) February 3, 2015
The real shock would be if Harper Lee said it was the second volume of a trilogy.— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) February 3, 2015
Twitter had plenty of helpful suggestions for the book's title:
To Kill A Mockingbird 2: Electric Boogaloo RT @AP: BREAKING: 'To Kill A Mockingbird' author Harper Lee to publish second novel this summer.— Matt Round (@mattround) February 3, 2015
Faster Mockingbird! Kill! Kill!— James Cooray Smith (@thejimsmith) February 3, 2015
Possible Harper Lee 2nd novel titles: The Mockingbird Strikes Back, To Kill Another Mockingbird, To Seriously Injure A Woodpecker.— Nick Pettigrew (@Nick_Pettigrew) February 3, 2015
Can't believe Harper Lee didn't go with: 2 Kill 2 Mockingbirds— Dan Wilbur (@DanWilbur) February 3, 2015
So why publish it now? There were theories:
*60 years later*
Harper lee looks around.
"Wow. We're still this racist? All right, send out book two, I guess."— Jonas Samuelle (@JonasSamuelle) February 3, 2015
And as for its content...
Hopefully Harper Lee's 2nd book will actually include information on how to kill a f*cking mockingbird pic.twitter.com/h7SYG0TUmu— THE STUDIO EXEC (@studioexec1) February 3, 2015
Still, hopefully this won't happen:
as soon as it's published she'll notice a spelling mistake on the first page and be all "knew I should have read it through one more time"— Keri (@kerihw) February 3, 2015
And hopefully this will be how it concludes:
And she lived Harper Lee ever after.— Michael Spicer (@MrMichaelSpicer) February 3, 2015
Either way, we hope that Harper Lee fella is enjoying all the publicity he's getting right now:
Yeah I sure do hope Harper Lee has sorted *his* writer's block pic.twitter.com/vOBkkm2sMq— Emily Reynolds (@rey_z) February 3, 2015