5 other notable sequels to take your mind off “Go Set a Watchman”
February 11, 2015 Leave a comment
We’ve all heard that Harper Lee is releasing a sequel to her famed debut novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Last week, Harper Lee’s lawyer, Tonja Carter, released a statement from the author saying she was “extremely hurt” by claims that she was being pressured into releasing Go Set a Watchman. There have been instances where the posthumous publication of a writer’s work has been questioned — like the unpublished J.D. Salinger stories that are supposed to come out later this year — but it’s rare for a living writer to be this opaque about a book of theirs. Considering Lee’s lawyer has herself come under scrutiny, and most official statements are being released through her, it’s difficult for anyone to make any definitive kind of sense out of the whole thing at this point.
So, to take your mind off the whole confounding issue, here are a few other noteworthy sequels to famous novels.
1. Ulysses, by James Joyce
Ulysses is not necessarily a sequel. But it does take place in the same world as Joyce’s debut, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and it does prominently feature Portrait’s protagonist and Joyce’s literary alter-ego Stephen Dedalus. It’s also the most famous book on this list.
2. Tales From Watership Down, by Richard Adams
Twenty-four years after he published his most famous novel, Watership Down, Richard Adams published a follow-up collection of nineteen short stories set in the same rabbit-populated world. Tales From Watership Down is divided into three sections. The first two sections tell some of the rabbit mythology of El-ahrairah, their trickster folk hero, and the final section follows several of Watership Down’s characters through adventures that take place after the novel.
3. Closing Time, by Joseph Heller
Like To Kill a Mockingbird, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 is frequently taught in high school classrooms across the U.S. Closing Time picks up with Catch-22 protagonist John Yossarian fifty years after the end of the war, as he struggles with his advancing age. Other characters from the Catch-22 make appearances as well, including Milo Minderbender and Chaplain Tappman.
4. No Longer at Ease, by Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe’s 1958 debut novel Things Fall Apart is arguably one of the more influential works in the African literary canon. Two years after its publication, Achebe published a sequel of sorts, titled No Longer at Ease, which features Obi Okwonko, the grandson of Things Fall Apart’s protagonist, Okwonko. No Longer at Ease is often considered the second in a three-part series, the third of which is Achebe’s 1964 Arrow of God.
5. Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King
Stephen King’s first novel was Carrie, which has since become a popular and influential story in its own right, but the book to really cement King’s status as the reigning king of horror fiction was The Shining in 1977. In 2013, King published a sequel, Doctor Sleep, which features an adult Danny Torrance dealing with, among other things, a psychic cat and marauding band of torture-addicted vampires called the “True Knot.” King has called it a “return to balls-to-the-wall, keep-the-lights-on horror” on his website.