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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Narnia revisited?

What connects Harry Potter to Aslan, the Christ-figure lion in C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia? A halo effect, states a June article in The New York Times, which says young readers are buying more Narnia books now that they've read the Potter series. Narnia book sales have always been strong, however — Lewis' series has sold more than 65 million copies in 30 languages. But Narnia fans are worried over news that the Lewis estate and publisher HarperCollins plan to create Narnia novels by unidentified authors.

"We'll have to do a wait-and-see," says Christopher Mitchell, a C.S. Lewis scholar and director of the Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton, Ill., a research facility that houses the largest collection of what Lewis read and wrote. "From what's been said, the new books in question don't appear to be sequels but more like stories within the stories that will fill in gaps in Lewis' Narnia books," Mitchell says. "Will we like the stories? We'll have to wait and see. I'm not concerned that any new stories will take away from the original series. It's wonderful to try to increase the profile of Lewis' series. But book sales already are at 1 million a year."


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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

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