Michel Houllebecq’s latest novel Soumission (Submission) has gone straight to number one in France's bestseller lists, selling 120,000 copies in the week of 5th to 11th January.
The novel, set in 2022 and featuring France with a Muslim president, leads the Top 20 GfK/ Livres Hebdo book sales listings, following publication on Wednesday 7th January, the day of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
Flammarion's first print run of 150,000 was quickly followed by a second one of 100,000, bringing total copies printed so far to 220,000, Livres Hebdo said this morning (15th).
At the same time, booksellers are reporting huge demand for backlist books of Charlie Hebdo cartoons and other titles by the slain cartoonists.
Houellebecq will resume promotion for the book in Germany next week, after temporary withdrawing from PR following the Paris attacks. In a recent TV interview, he denied that the book is Islamophobic, saying even an "inattentive" reading would not result in that impression.