covers1I don’t plan to be one of those rushing out to buy Harper Lee’s latest. To me the most interesting thing about it is the continued assertion that HarperCollins printed two million copies. I just don’t believe they’d do that. Of course you don’t want to be caught short. However, as Vulture reports, the book sold 1,100,000 in the first week which is pretty impressive. Still, 900,000 in the warehouse is generous cover surely, but maybe these book do actually exist. Printers are of course sworn to secrecy.

Quartz acts all surprised that there are similarities between the book and To Kill a Mockingbird. Was anyone really under the impression that this “new” book was anything other than a first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird? The account of its discovery was fairly explicit: the original book was rejected and the editor suggested a sort of prequel might be mined from it. Ms Lee did this, and then assumed the original ms was lost. It wasn’t — recent discovery doesn’t however make it anything other than what it was: the mine from which so many people’s favorite was excavated.

Another oddment is the way people seem to feel let down by the fact that Atticus Finch appears in the new book as a bit of a racist. Do you really want to suggest that naming your son Atticus has turned into a gigantic error because of this new book? It’s fiction, guys! I know lots of people relate to the book because it was the one thing they managed to read in school (apart from Catcher in the Rye) but really? In any case, as Jezebel, among many others, points out that’s not really news.

Cynics will doubt that we are all due to be subjected in a year or two to another dose of Harper-Lee-iana.

Later: apparently there are 3.3 million copies in print according to Publishers Lunch.

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