Art And Culture

Midnight Openings for Harper Lee Book Launch

Midnight Openings for Harper Lee Book LaunchMidnight Openings for Harper Lee Book Launch

Bookstores in New York opened at midnight when copies of Harper Lee’s eagerly awaited, but controversial second novel ‘Go Set a Watchman’ flew off the shelves more than half a century after the groundbreaking success of her first book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.
The global release of the book has been feted as one of the biggest literary events in years, GMAnetwork reported.
Thanks to pre-orders, it has been the number one bestseller at online retailer Amazon for months, and publisher HarperCollins has ordered a first print run of two million copies.
Lee’s only previous novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, is considered a 20th-century masterpiece that defined racial injustice in the depression-era South and became standard reading in classrooms.
Published in 1960, it was translated into more than 40 languages and adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck.
In Britain and Ireland, retailer Waterstones organized midnight openings so that fans could get their hands on print editions as soon as possible, while Amazon delivered pre-ordered Kindle editions at the stroke of 12.
Various midnight openings were also scheduled in the US. In Lee’s hometown of Monroeville in Alabama, where the 89-year-old lives in strict privacy at a nursing home, the small community’s only bookstore also organized a midnight launch event.
The book is a coming-of-age story that explores “racism and changing attitudes in the South during the 1950s in a bold and unflinching way”. It was written in the 1950s before Lee, now 89, penned her 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece. She then largely retired from public life.
‘Watchman’ features lawyer Atticus Finch 20 years after the events depicted in ‘Mockingbird’ as his adult daughter Scout returns to visit him in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama.