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Michel Houellebecq

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Atomised.jpg
Atomised, by Michel Houellebecq

Michel Houellebecq (born 26 February 1958, on the French island of Réunion) is a controversial, award-winning French novelist. He left France and lived in Ireland for some years. He currently lives in Spain

Houellebecq worked as computer administrator in Paris before he became the so-called 'pop star of the single generation'. Gaining fame with the novel Extension du domaine de la lutte in 1994 (translated into English by Paul Hammond), he won the 1998 Prix Décembre with his novel Les Particules élementaires (translated by Frank Wynne) and published as Atomised (Heinemann, UK)/The Elementary Particles (Knopf, US) which became an instant 'nihilistic classic' that the New York Times called a deeply repugnant read. The novel earned Houellebecq and with his translator Frank Wynne the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2002.

Controversy

His subsequent novel Plateforme (2001) earned him a wider reputation still, though extracts from the novel, together with an interview he accorded the magazine Lire led to charges being brought against him by France's Human Rights League, the Mecca-based World Islamic League and the mosques of Paris and Lyon in a trial reminiscent of Britain's Salman Rushdie affair. A panel of three judges, delivering their verdict to a packed Paris courtroom, acquitted Houellebecq of the charges of provoking racial hatred.

Adaptations

Extension du domaine de la lutte has been filmed by Philippe Harel and adapted as a play in Danish by Jens Albinus for the Royal Danish Theatre.

The English translation of his novel Platform was adapted as a play by the theatre company Carnal Acts for the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London in December 2004.

Bibliography

Untranslated works

  • Rester vivant, méthode, La Différence (1991)
  • La Poursuite du bonheur, poèmes, La Différence (1992)
  • Le Sens du combat, poèmes, Flammarion (1996)
  • Interventions, recueil d'essais, Flammarion (1998)
  • Renaissance, poèmes, Flammarion (1999)de:Michel Houellebecq

fr:Michel Houellebecq nl:Michel Houellebecq

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