From “Torto Arado” (Crooked Plow) to classics: check out the best-selling Brazilian fiction books of 2021


During the year 2021, Nielsen PublishNews released ten lists of the best-selling Brazilian books. Among the top ten most read authors of 2021 in the fiction category are: Itamar Vieira Junior, Carolina Maria de Jesus, newcomer Carla Madeira, Augusto Cury, Clara Alves, Gabriel Dearo and Manu Digilio. There are also many classics from the Brazilian literature among the highlights, such as “Dom Casmurro”, by Machado de Assis, “A Hora da Estrela (The Hour of the Star)” by Clarice Lispector, “Capitães da Areia (Captains of the Sands)” by Jorge Amado and “Vidas Secas (Barren Lives),” by Graciliano Ramos

Absolute sales success, “Torto Arado” (Crooked Plow), written by Itamar Vieira Junior and published by Todavia, occupied first place in the ranking of all ten lists published throughout the year. The book won the 2020 Jabuti Award and was translated into several languages. Its plot is based on the reality of the hinterland of Bahia and tells the story of two sisters whose lives are intertwined by a tragedy. With melodious prose, the novel tells a story of life and death, of combat and redemption.

“Quarto de Despejo” (The Trash Room) by Carolina Maria de Jesus, published by Ática, was also among the top ten best sellers in all 2021 lists. The work has as its origin the diary of the author’s life, which is a former paper collector, and reports the harsh reality of the Canindé slum in São Paulo. The book stands out for its simple but forceful language, and marks the reader for its realistic and sensitive look.

Another success in books sold is the trilogy of children’s books by Gabriel Dearo and Manu Digilio, published by the publisher Outro Planeta. The first book, “As aventuras de Mike” (Mike’s Adventures), was eight times on the top ten bestseller lists released during the year. “As aventuras de Mike: o bebê chegou” (Mike’s Adventures: The Baby Has Come) achieved the accomplishment on nine lists. And finally, “As aventuras de Mike: livro interativo” (Mike’s Adventures: Interactive Book) was also among the top sellers on four occasions in 2021.

“Tudo é Rio” (Everything is Rio), Carla Madeira’s debut book, published by Record, was also a sales phenomenon, reaching the top ten position in eight of the lists. The work narrates the story of the couple Dalva and Venâncio, whose lives are transformed after a loss resulting from their partner’s excessive jealousy, and Lucy, the city’s best-known prostitute, who forms a love triangle with the protagonists.

Also highlighted were “Conectadas (Connected)”, by Clara Alves, “Prisioneiros da Mente (Prisoners of Mind)”, by Augusto Cury, “Amoras”, by Emicida and Aldo Fabrini, “O Fim em Doses Homeopáticas (The End in Homeopathic Doses)”, by Igor Pires and “Anos de Chumbo e Outros Contos (Years of Lead and Other Tales)”, by Chico Buarque.

The ranking of best-selling books is based on the sum of sales from selected bookstores, so it is a sample and not the universe of book sales in Brazil. In it, it is possible to check the most popular works in general or according to genre (fiction, non-fiction, self-help, children’s and business), and to select the period by week, month or year.

To access the bestseller rankings and check out the books that star in the other categories, just click here.