Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Women dominate UK literary fiction bestsellers

Nine out of the top 10 bestselling literary fiction authors in 2017 were women writers, reports the Bookseller.

Margaret Atwood topped the list, benefiting from the TV adaptations of The Handmaid’s Tale (Vintage) and Alias, Grace (Virago), which were both released last year. Sales of her books in the UK in 2017 totaled 394,459 in volume and £2.8m (A$4.9m) in value. British authors Sarah Perry and Helen Dunmore placed second and third, respectively.

Haruki Murakami was the only male writer to make the top 10 in sixth spot, with Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and 2017 Nobel Prize-winner Kazuo Ishiguro all placing outside the top 10.

Results were drawn from Nielsen BookScan sales data, with the Bookseller admitting it was making ‘somewhat arbitrary value judgments about what is “literary”’ by limiting the selection to ‘those who have been major award winners and/or shortlistees’.

Despite dominating the literary fiction author chat, just three women writers made the overall top 10 authors chart in 2017: J K Rowling, Julia Donaldson and Fiona Watt. David Walliams was the number-one bestselling author, followed by Rowling and Donaldson.


Category: International news