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Harper Lee’s new novel tops UK bestsellers list


Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman has knocked E L James off the top spot in the UK book charts.

Lee’s much-awaited second novel, released last month, is widely regarded as the sequel to the classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

More than 168,000 copies were sold in the first five days of its release, more than four-fold the sales of E L James’ Grey.

More than 207,000 copies of e-books were sold by the end of last month, while publisher HarperCollins announced that 1.1 million copies had been sold in the US and Canada alone.

The global release of Go Set A Watchman was one of the biggest events in modern publishing history, more than half a century after To Kill a Mockingbird made its debut.

The literary world was upended when HarperCollins announced it was publishing a second novel from Lee, seemingly discovered in her safe deposit box in still-unclear circumstances.

Lee wrote the manuscript in the late 1950s, but her then-editor suggested she recast the book from the childhood perspective of Scout, which in turn became “Mockingbird”.

Go Set A Watchman is set 20 years later and features many characters from the first novel, which is considered a 20th century classic that defined racial injustice in the Depression-era South of the US and became standard reading in classrooms across the world.

Copies of Go Set A Watchman have been readily available at Virgin Megastore in City Centre Bahrain since its release on July 14, while other bookshops in Bahrain such as Jashanmal in City Centre Bahrain and Seef Mall and The Bookcase in Budaiya received copies last week.

Go Set A Watchman is only the 89-year-old’s second book to be published.

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