As usually occurs, the winner of the Prix Goncourt, France’s top fiction prize, shot to #1 on the French fiction list after it was announced in late November. This year’s winner, The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier, features 11 narrators and multiple genres. On average the Goncourt winner sells 400,000 copies, according to France 24. The Anomaly will be published in the U.S. by Other Press. Les impatientes by Djaïli Amadou Amal, a novel about forced marriages in Cameroon, won the Goncourt des lycéens prize, voted on by French students, and was in the #2 spot at the end of December.
Barack Obama’s A Promised Land was the bestselling nonfiction title in France and landed in the fourth slot on the combined bestseller list in the Netherlands in early January. That list was topped by another book translated from English, Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. The #2 title on the Dutch list was The Banality of Good by Rutger Bregman, which has been a bestselling title for more than 18 months. Bregman is published in the U.S. by Little, Brown.
In Spain, Eva García Sáenz de Urtur’s novel Acquitania, a historical thriller about 12th-century aristocrat Eleanor of Aquitaine, was the #1 title in fiction at the start of the year. The novel won the 2020 Planeta Prize, Spain’s most important literary award. The author’s books are published in the U.S. by Vintage/Black Lizard.