Reni Eddo-Lodge's Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Bloomsbury) has leapt into the UK Official Top 50 number one spot, making her the first black British author to hit the weekly overall number one in the Nielsen BookScan era.
Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race, originally published in paperback in 2018, jumped 376 places up the TCM 5,000 two weeks ago, after the killing of George Floyd by police in the US sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the world. A week ago, it soared a further 155 places to claim third place overall and hit the Paperback Non-Fiction number one. Now it has leapfrogged Charlie Mackesy's The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse to chart in the overall number one position.
Though there has been no British author of colour to top the chart since Nielsen records began in 1998, that is not to say it has never happened before now. V S Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ben Okri, all Booker Prize-winners across the 1970s,1980s and early 1990s, would have seen their winning titles rocket in sales. Rushdie's Midnight's Children, later also awarded the Booker of Bookers, was said to have sold a million copies in the UK, pre-BookScan. Since 1998, only Khaled Hosseini and Michelle Obama have had the overall number one in the UK.
Bloomsbury, which last week said it had made a "substantial" donation to Black Lives Matter in the light of Eddo-Lodge's charts success, today said it was planning "further donations to be announced".
Akala's Natives (Two Roads) and Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacy (Quercus) joined Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race in the overall top five, with both titles rising to second place in Paperback and Hardback Non-Fiction respectively.
The charts in general benefited from an injection of new entries last week, with Fern Britton's Daughters of Cornwall (HarperCollins) claiming the Original Fiction number one and Dilly Court's The Country Bride (HarperCollins) hitting the Mass Market Fiction top spot. Florence Given's Women Don't Owe You Pretty (Cassell) and Ant Middleton's The Fear Bubble (HarperCollins) both debuted in the overall top 20, as did John Grisham's The Guardians (Hodder) and Ian Rankin's Westwind (Orion).
David Walliams' Slime (HarperCollins) once again held the Children's number one, though Onjali Q Rauf's The Boy at the Back of the Class (Orion Children's) bounced up to second place, with The Star Outside My Window also charting in the Children's and YA Fiction top 20. Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Smeds and the Smoos (Alison Green) claimed the Pre-School top spot, while Sharon Purtill and Sujata Saha's It's OK to Be Different (Dunhill Clare) was the highest new entry, in fourth place.
Once again, the limited number of retailers open during the week this chart covers (to Saturday 13th June) means Nielsen BookScan has not been able to provide concrete figures.