FiVe frencH BOOkS tHat HaVe Marked tHe 2000S

VOGUE Hommes International (English) - - AXEL THEMIN - CHriS­tine an­GOt MicHel HOUelleBecq eM­ManUel car­rère pa­trick MO­di­anO Vir­Ginie deSpen­teS

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.

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