On Monday, HarperCollins announced that Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” — the sequel to her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” — has sold more than 1.1 million copies in the United States and Canada.
The total North American sales for the novel make “Watchman” the fastest selling book in the company’s history, according to a HarperCollins press release.
“First week sales of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ have far exceeded our expectations,” said Brian Murray, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, in a statement from the press release. “Bringing this book to market has been an amazing effort by thousands of people — from our publishing teams to booksellers large and small. We are thrilled to see readers responding to this historic new work from an iconic author like Harper Lee.”
The 1.1 million sales figure comprises all print, e-book, and audiobook copies sold since the book was released on Tuesday, July 14. After several reprintings of the novel, there are now 3.3 million copies of “Watchman” in print.
Lee’s “Watchman” is a lightly copy-edited version of an early manuscript of what would eventually become “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The novel takes place in the 1950s, as “Mockingbird” protagonist Jean-Louise Finch returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York and finds that her father, revered lawyer Atticus Finch, is actually kind of racist.
Lee’s lawyer, Tonja Carter, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal called “How I Found the Harper Lee Manuscript,” in which she revealed that she also found a third manuscript of Lee’s — promising a book that will undoubtably see the light of day as soon as publishers can get their hands on it.
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