Posted on September 14, 2020 at 4:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Two books have surprised their authors and publishers by blowing past modest sales goals recently.

One is The Gospel of the Eels, in which Patrik Svensson weaves together memories of his father with in-depth research on — yep — eels, in particular the question of how they breed.

Svensson, who describes his book as “kind of nerdy,” had seen strong sales even before the book won Sweden’s August Prize last year.

And now, the Guardian reports, the book’s rave reviews from New York Times and the New Yorker have put it on a path to become a sleeper hit in the US, too.

Meanwhile, in France, a government official’s attempts to stifle an essay titled “I Hate Men” have backfired.

Pauline Harmange’s publisher had only printed four hundred copies at first, according to the Guardian.

Then Ralph Zurmély, a special adviser to France’s ministry for gender equality, told the publisher — on his own, the government stresses, and not in official capacity — that “incitement to hatred on the grounds of gender is a criminal offense.”

The first three editions of the essay subsequently sold out, with 2,500 copies sold in the two weeks after its release and a major (unnamed) publisher ready to take the title on.

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Categories: Today in Books

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