Harper Lee's 'Go Set a Watchman': What Chapter 1 tells us

Lynda Hawryluk is Senior Lecturer in Writing at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and academics to provide news analysis and commentary. The content is produced solely by The Conversation.

(CNN)The provenance of "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1960) is perhaps less well known than the novel itself, which has come to be even less remarked upon than the legal travails and self-imposed isolation of the author who penned the work.

Even those who haven't read To Kill A Mockingbird know Harper Lee, now 89, has been labeled a recluse, dogged by legal troubles, and has the distinction of having written what is regarded an American masterpiece without peer.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill A Mockingbird outsold the Bible in its early days, and has been regularly voted the greatest novel of the century.
Lee herself has refused major interviews since 1964, and though active in her local community -- Monroeville, Alabama -- she still preserves a steadfast and tightly held grip on her privacy.