Richard Russo lands in the #1 spot with the trade paper edition of Empire Falls—just two weeks after it won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This bestseller pundit believes this is the first time that esteemed literary prize landed a book on the top so quickly (correct us if we are wrong). Timing was perfect— the Vintage edition's on-sale date originally was May 12. Serendipitously, the 80,000 first printing arrived in the warehouse on April 8, the day of the announcement, and the publisher got the book into the stores by April 12. The second printing of 100,000 copies bearing the Pulitzer Prize logo on the cover was ready by April 16. Total copies in print for the Vintage edition after five trips to press: 285,000. Knopf also printed 7,500 hardcover copies with the logo, bringing that edition's in-print total to 105,000 (the hardcover appeared on the PW chart once, in the #15 slot). Russo will be at BEA and immediately afterward will go on an 11-city tour. All this bodes well for his next book from Knopf, The Whore's Child, a collection of short stories. Barring any more big prizes, pub date is set for July 16.
With reporting by Dick Donahue.