Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Agent defends ‘Go Set a Watchman’ as it climbs bestseller charts

Harper Lee’s international rights agent Andrew Nurnberg said the author is ‘increasingly excited at the prospect of her second novel finally seeing the light of day’ after ‘mounting concern’ followed the news Go Set a Watchman (William Heinemann) will be published in July, reports the Guardian. Harper Lee’s biographer Charlie Shields had questioned the timing of the announcement of the new book, as it came two months after the death of Lee’s sister and adviser, Alice Lee. ‘Understanding the relationship between the sisters as I do, I doubt whether Alice would have allowed this project to go forward,’ said Shields. Nurnberg, however, has dismissed the concerns raised by Shields and others. ‘She was genuinely surprised at the discovery of the manuscript but delighted by the suggestion to publish what she considers to be the ‘parent’ to Mockingbird,’ Nurnberg told the Guardian. Publishers Weekly reports that following the announcement that Go Set a Watchman will be published in July, the title climbed to first place on Amazon’s bestseller chart and To Kill a Mockingbird (various imprints) climbed 7564 spots to second place. In Australia, Go Set a Watchman climbed to the top of Bookworld’s bestseller chart just hours after the book became available to purchase at 5pm last night. To Kill a Mockingbird also jumped to seventh spot on the bookstore’s chart.


Category: International news