In her newest bestseller, The Lady and the Unicorn, Tracy Chevalier is doing for the medieval Lady and the Unicorn tapestries what she did for Vermeer and his world with her megasuccess, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Girl, published almost exactly four years ago, has 164,000 hardcover copies in print, and there are more than two million of the trade paper edition; the book's combined run on PW's lists was 63 weeks. In addition, the film version has been taking in roughly a whopping $12,000 per engagement in its limited release (contrast that with the mighty Return of the King, which has been averaging $13,000 per screen); the movie is gradually adding more engagements throughout this month and next. Chevalier's 2001 novel, Falling Angels, spent a total of nine weeks on our charts, and now comes The Lady, which was published December 29 with a 185,000-copy printing. (PW's starred review called the book "a work of genuine power and beauty.") Dutton's going to town with its publicity campaign, with major print features, a nine-city tour, an interview with Chevalier on NPR's All Things Considered, etc.
—with reporting by Dick Donahue