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New Harper Lee novel attracts interest from foreign publishers

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The star of this week’s London Book Fair seems to be Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman—news that likely doesn’t surprise anyone who has been following the saga of the To Kill A Mockingbird writer’s long-buried second novel.

According to The Guardian, Lee’s literary agent, Andrew Nurnberg, announced that the novel has now been sold in 25 different territories, such as Korea, China, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Turkey. Nurnberg added that “many, many more” deals are likely to be announced before the novel’s July publication. 

But because of the clouds of secrecy surrounding Watchman, these deals are happening much slower those for other books. The agency is taking heavy security measures to protect the book’s contents. “Rather than being posted or emailed the novel,” The Guardian reports, “foreign publishers have had to travel to Andrew Nurnberg Associates’ London offices to read the manuscript.” 

As Nurnberg told Publishers Weekly in Februrary, they are taking such an usual approach because “We don’t wish to sell this book blind.” The agent believes the book has plenty of its own literary merit, despite much public concern over the motivations behind selling a novel Lee once said she’d never publish. He added that Go Set A Watchman is “a fine book on every level. That it was still there and discovered is a miracle.”