A US independent bookshop is offering refunds to its Go Set a Watchman customers, claiming that the work should be viewed as an “academic insight” into Harper Lee’s development as an author, rather than as a “nice summer novel”."Brilliant!"
Brilliant Books in Traverse City, Michigan, has said that its “dozens” of customers for Go Set a Watchman are owed “refunds and apologies” over the way the novel has been presented. “It is disappointing and frankly shameful to see our noble industry parade and celebrate this as ‘Harper Lee’s New Novel’,” the bookseller writes on its website. “This is pure exploitation of both literary fans and a beloved American classic (which we hope has not been irrevocably tainted). We therefore encourage you to view Go Set a Watchman with intellectual curiosity and careful consideration; a rough beginning for a classic, but only that.”
Also, see US bookshop offering refunds for Go Set a Watchman,
I don’t like to attack independent bookstores, they are an endangered species after all. But still I question the naiveté here: Brilliant Books stocked Watchman. No self-respecting bookish person could have missed the avalanche of press coverage leading up to the release of Watchman. In a recent review of an entirely different book, the New York Times book critic Dwight Garner observed that Watchman “left a blast pit commentators will be staring into for decades”. And even before “racist Atticus” saw the light of day as a hook for a hundred op-eds, there was never any real question that this was truly a new novel.--If life doesn't go as we expected, can we sue God and ask for a refund?
...And there is a more sinister question: how many of these dissatisfied customers, I wonder, are especially angry or disappointed because of the unflattering portrait of an elderly, racist Atticus this book contained? What is a bookstore doing when it insists that that revelation – and all it implies about racial politics in America – is purely “academic”?