How ‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow’ Became a Surprise Bestseller
Both novels were published in 2005, when Zevin was 27, but they had very different trajectories. Critics praised “Margarettown,” which Miramax Books published as an adult novel, but it failed commercially, selling about 4,200 copies in print, according to Circana BookScan. “Ailleurs”, a young adult novel that Farrar, Straus and Giroux published several months later, has sold more than 350,000 copies.
Over the next eight years, Zevin wrote at a breakneck pace. She published another young adult novel and a futuristic young adult trilogy, and she spent years working on another literary novel, “The Hole We’re In,” about a family struggling with financial debt. But nothing equaled the commercial success of “Ailleurs”.
Then, in 2014, Zevin published “The Storied Life of AJ Fikry,” a love letter to literary culture centering on a disagreeable bookseller with narrow taste whose horizons widen when he falls in love. For reasons that still mystify Zevin, it became a global blockbuster, selling over 850,000 copies in the United States and over four million worldwide. It was adapted into a feature film in 2022 based on a screenplay written by Zevin, with Canosa, his partner, as director.
Again, it felt like Zevin’s breakout moment, and again, the success proved fleeting. Three years later, when she released “Young Jane Young,” about a congressional intern who is publicly ashamed of having an affair with her boss, it garnered good reviews but sold for less than 10. 000 hardcover copies.