Atticus Finch's Dark Side in Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee's much anticipated sequel to one of the most enduring and timeless masterpieces To Kill a Mockingbird is all set to hit the bookstands come July 14. Excited? I am too, but New York Times's book critic Michiko Kakutani has dropped an explosive bombshell of sorts in her review of Go Set a Watchman. It is a plot twist befitting a thriller, one that no one saw coming.
Shockingly, in Ms. Lee’s long-awaited novel, “Go Set a Watchman” (due out Tuesday), Atticus is a racist who once attended a Klan meeting, who says things like “The Negroes down here are still in their childhood as a people.” Or asks his daughter: “Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?” (excerpt from the review)
Who could have ever imagined Atticus Finch, the lawyer cum crusader who espoused the cause of equal rights for all men and women, the progressive hero who defended the defenseless, would be depicted as an ageing racist. Ms. Lee, by putting him off the moral pedestal, shows a less noble, dark side to the much revered literary character, but with the book's questionable publication history already making noise, this new shocking revelation is sure to rock readers' views on the classic.

Read the first chapter here (The Guardian).