Houellebecq, Beigbeder, Foenkinos … Our selection of the winter literary start

Unless you live in a particularly isolated cave, you cannot escape it! Edition of 300,000 copies, title kept jealously secret for months, journalists feverishly waiting to receive – or not – the precious proofs, booksellers on the teeth, tidal wave of articles even though the content of the book is still placed under embargo and that its author will not ensure the promotion: there is no doubt, Michel Houellebecq is back. And that’s just the beginning. His new novel of more than 700 pages, answering the sweet name ofannihilate (without capital letter, Flammarion), will hit bookstores on January 7. Presented in a very chic bound and cardboard format, it will obviously be the event of this winter season.

If the countless fans of the enfant terrible of French letters are exulting, the publishing world is not exactly celebrating. It wouldn’t be the first time that the hype and media attention that the elusive writer generates has eclipsed the rest of editorial production. A look at the score of his latest opus, Serotonin (2019), is enough to assuage fears of cannibalization of sales: 90,000 copies sold three days after its release, and in total more than 400,000 sold only in large format. draw up several hundred novelists who publish a new text in January or February. Among them are new promising feathers, rising values ​​but also a damn heavy cocktail that the editors have decided to program in the face of Hurricane Houellebecq.

Goncourized authors’ ball

The only month of January will thus see blooming in bookstores the novelties of Frédéric Beigbeder, erecting A dam against the Atlantic (Grasset), Philippe Besson, which takes us on a Paris-Briançon (Julliard) or David foenkinos and his Number two. His editor, Gallimard, decidedly pulls out the heavy artillery by programming alongside him Karine Tuil. After looking at Human things, in this case a case of rape, which earned her the Interallié and the Goncourt prize for high school students 2019, the writer, always so quick to capture the famous “air of the times”, signs Decision, immersion in the heart of the daily life of anti-terrorist investigating judges. Still at Gallimard, the intimate story of Tonino benacquista (Porca Miseria) and Pascal Quignard, including the new novel Love, the sea appears twenty years later Wandering Shadows, sacred Goncourt 2002.

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He is not the only author crowned with this prestigious award to be published in this re-entry which takes on the appearance of a meeting of goncourées, all promotions combined. We thus find Leila Slimani, early February, with Watch us dance (Gallimard), second part of Country of others, the eagerly awaited Nicolas mathieu which continues in Connemara (Actes Sud) to explore the way in which everyone settles their accounts with their illusions and their youth, Eric Vuillard and his terrible literary tale, An honorable outing (Actes Sud), around the Indochina war, Pierre Lemaitre, continuing in The Big World (Calmann-Lévy) his literary work dedicated to the twentieth century and Dominique fernandez of which Liberty betrayed (Grasset) constitutes the second part of the diptych devoted to the exploration of the gay question today.

Round of confirmed authors

Other sure values ​​are expected. Veronique olmi describes the sacked childhood ofA kid (Albin Michel). In the same stable, we find Franck Pavloff (Hope is my homeland), Daniel Picouly ( Tears of wine) and Eric Neuhoff dhave the melancholy and spicy Literary start is sure to interest the publishing community. Nathalie Azoulai shapes the learning novel of The Perfect Girl (POL), Francois Vallejo revisits the fictionalized biography with The Delector (Viviane Hamy) when Genevieve Brisac finds Nouk, the heroine of his famous Small, and plunges it into The Enchanters (Olive Tree). Jeanne Benameur conceived Patience of traces (Actes Sud). Benoit Dutortre revives black humor in Denounce each other (Fayard).

With Of nobody I was the contemporary (Stock), the virtuoso Linda Lê recreates the forgotten history of two giants of the 20th century: the poet Ossip Mandelstam and the defender of anti-colonialism, Ho Chi Minh. Without forgetting Laurence Tardieu (From dawn to dawn, Stock), Philippe Delerm (New York without New York, Threshold), Maryline Desbiolles (Hot coals, Threshold), Jean-Marie Gourio 2 grams 40 (Books), Armel Job (A father to oneself, Robert Laffont), Jean Teulé (Azincourt in rainy weather, Mialet-Barrault) or even Philippe Forest (Pi Ying Xi, Gallimard). Also note, the arrival in February of a usual locomotive of the best sales, Michel bussi (New Babel, Presses of the city).

Rosary of rising feathers

Alongside the installed writers, a few rising feathers to watch closely! Adrien bosc sign Column (Stock), last part of a trilogy started with Constellations in 2014. Thomas gunzig cook the midlife crisis with bite Blood of the Beasts (To hell with Vauvert), when Jöel Baqué embarks on a dystopian farce (The Absent Zoo, POL). Julia deck, that we left in 2019 with Private property, deploy the sarcastic National monument (Midnight). Three years after the much noticed Cora in the spiral, Vincent Message recount The Sunless Years (Threshold). Constance Debre, who continues to settle scores with his illustrious Last name (Flammarion), and Lolita Pille (A teenage girl, Stock), delve into the vein of autofiction. As Eva Ionesco (Children of the night, Grasset) who signs his second novel this fall. Adrien Borne (Life that begins, Lattès), Iborn Bayard (Steglitz, Albin Michel), Maylis Besserie (The scattered loves, Gallimard), Laure Gouraige (Black Ideas, POL) and Dima Abdallah (Midnight blue, Sabine Wespieser) also passed this course, deemed difficult, after particularly remarkable first texts.

Plethora of flagship aliens

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From Japan to Albania, via Iceland, this re-entry is also an opportunity to meet a diverse panel of leading authors of foreign literature. The big one Louise Erdrich is inspired by the figure of his paternal grandfather to The one who watches (Albin Michel), Pulitzer Prize 2021. Prospective for the Nobel in literature, the Japanese Haruki Murakami play with The first person singular (Belfond) when the Albanian Ismail Kadare relates Disputes at the top (Fayard). From Australia comes the new one Richard Flanagan (In the living sea of ​​daydreams, South Acts), Iceland Jon Kalman Stefansson (Your absence is only darkness, Grasset), from Sweden Steve Sem-Sandberg (W. or war, Robert Laffont), from Norway Karl Ove Knausgaard (In winter, Denoël), without forgetting the Italian Erri De Luca who signs with Guardian devils (Gallimard) a story illustrated by the architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, who died in 2019.

His compatriot, the young Silvia avallone, whose first novel Of steel had won the L’Express Readers’ Prize in 2011, looks back on A friendship (Liana Lévi) that we should hear about. Finally, it is impossible to ignore these three regulars on the best sales podium: Lisa Gardner (Never confess, Albin Michel) who, novel after novel, establishes herself as the new queen of psychological suspense, Liane Moriarty playing Set and Match (Albin Michel) and Robert galbraith (pseudonym of JK Rowling), continuing the epic Cormorant Strike series with Cloudy blood (Grasset). We told you that it wasn’t just Houellebecq in life!



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Houellebecq, Beigbeder, Foenkinos … Our selection of the winter literary start