A surprising success occurred in Italy last month, where the collected poems of Wislawa Szymborska landed at #2. Szymborska, who died February 1 at the age of 88, has a similar collection seeing “steady sales” in the U.S. from Mariner Books titled Poems New and Collected, originally published in 2000. But the poet’s performance in Italy, where the book has sold 64,000 copies, has been called “an unprecedented success for a volume of poetry on a world scale” by publisher Adelphi.
Also in Italy, French doctor Pierre Dukan takes the fifth and sixth spots. Using protein as a cornerstone, Dukan’s dieting books have already been published stateside: Crown Archetype published The Dukan Diet: 2 Steps to Lose the Weight, 2 Steps to Keep It Off Forever in print and as an e-book in April 2011, and will publish The Dukan Diet Cookbook: The Essential Companion to the Dukan Diet on March 27.
France’s #1 fiction title is Daniel Pennac’s The Diary of a Body, which is about a man’s lifelong diary detailing everything he’s felt: pain, pleasure, desire, and illness. The book had an initial print run of 120,000 copies.
On the Spanish fiction charts, Brooklyn writer Paul Auster (the New York trilogy) took the #2 spot with Winter Journal, an unconventional memoir about the body and the passage of time. The book will be published by Holt on August 21.