Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman: Book club and discussion.

Should Harper Lee Have Published Go Set a Watchman? Should I Have Read It?

Should Harper Lee Have Published Go Set a Watchman? Should I Have Read It?

Discussing new and classic works.
Aug. 7 2015 10:23 AM

The Audio Book Club Returns to Maycomb With Go Set a Watchman

Slate critics debate Harper Lee’s newly published novel.

'Go Set a Watchman'
Eden Sherman checks out the newly released book authored by Harper Lee, 'Go Set a Watchman', at the Books and Books store on July 14, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

To listen to the Audio Book Club discussion of Go Set a Watchman, click the arrow on the player below.


This month Slate critics Dan Kois, Meghan O’Rourke, and Katy Waldman discuss Harper Lee’s controversial new novel, a seeming companion to To Kill a Mockingbird. Is it as lousy as everyone says it is? What is its relationship to the characters and themes of its well-loved predecessor? Finally, should this publishing thunderbolt change the way we think about To Kill a Mockingbird’s place in the canon?

For more Slate coverage of Go Set a Watchman, check out Kevin Young’s review, Katy Waldman’s review, Jacob Brogan’s assessment of Atticus Finch in literary culture, and Laura Bradley’s investigation into how parents who named their kids Atticus feel about learning he’s now kind of racist.

Next month the Audio Book Club will dig into Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. Read the book and stay tuned for our discussion in September!

Visit our Audio Book Club archive page for a complete list of the more than 75 books we’ve discussed over the years. Or you can listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed.


Podcast produced by Abdul Rufus and Andy Bowers.

Dan Kois edits and writes for Slate’s human interest and culture departments. He’s the co-author, with Isaac Butler, of The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America, and is writing a book called How to Be a Family.

Meghan O’Rourke is Slate’s culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at the New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother’s death, is now out in paperback.

Katy Waldman is a Slate staff writer.