FiVe frencH BOOkS tHat HaVe Marked tHe 2000S
Pourquoi pas le Brésil [ Why (not ) Brazil? ] Stock, 2002 In the 1990s, Christine Angot
established herself as one of the leading lights in autobiographical writing, a genre now much in vogue. Here she tackles love, that creaking novelistic chestnut so often tarted up with all the lies linked to romanticism.
Angot serves up a brutally frank, eye– opening post– mortem of her love affair with the journalist Pierre– Louis Rozynès, detailing all the mechanisms
at work behind the sentiments. The Possibility of an Island
W & N, 2006 With this scathing work, Houellebecq
raises his status from best young French writer to national literary
phenomenon. A fan of Lovecraft, he blends science fiction (welcome to a
future of clones ) with social satire as seen through the eyes of a comic. The novel uncovers the well springs of the human psyche as well as the ills of an
ultraliberal society, mining the unhappily rich vein of today’s malaise
and sexual dysfunction.
The Adversary Bloomsbury Publishing, 2001 The Adversary launched the trend of
novels based on true stories, a breakthough in modern French literature. This is the tale of Jean– Claude
Romand, a pathological liar who ends up killing his family. The writer
takes on the role of investigator, combining fiction with fact, in a style that has greatly influenced a number
of French writers.
Pedigree: A Memoir Yale University Press, 2015 Modiano’s brief account of his childhood,
in the form of minutes, is actually the template for all his novels dealing
with the Occupation. Every fact that has haunted the author is here: the
absent parents, the abuse of war, being surrounded by persons of multiple
and thus blurred identities, and a childhood branded by these people’s forever menacing shadows. A powerful
story of frustrated needs. Vernon Subutex I & II Grasset, 2015
( English translation in progress ) Virginie Despentes burst upon the scene in 1994 with Fuck Me. The shock value
went well beyond the title, since the book introduced trash, violence and
pornography into classic “women’s literature”. Her new crime thriller tackles French society at large — the homeless,
the free thinkers, the far left, the far right — and delivers a major novel that displays her real maturity as a writer.