Michel Houellebecq cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Michel Houellebecq

French writer

1958   -  

country of citizenship: France
native language: French
languages spoken, written or signed: French
educated at: Lycée Chaptal, Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, École nationale supérieure Louis-Lumière
occupation: poet, film director, songwriter, essayist, novelist, screenwriter, actor, writer, science fiction writer, author
award received: International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Prix Goncourt, Prix Interallié, Oswald Spengler Prize, Knight of the Legion of Honour, Austrian State Prize for European Literature, Prix de Flore
influenced by: Blaise Pascal, Georges Perec, H. P. Lovecraft, Clifford D. Simak, Arthur Schopenhauer, Aldous Huxley, Immanuel Kant, Honoré de Balzac, Bret Easton Ellis

Michel Houellebecq (French: [miˈʃɛl wɛlˈbɛk]; born Michel Thomas; 26 February 1956 or 1958) is a French author, known for his novels, poems and essays, as well as an occasional actor, filmmaker and singer. His first book was a biographical essay on the horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Houellebecq published his first novel, Whatever, in 1994. His next novel, Atomised, published in 1998, brought him international fame as well as controversy. Platform followed in 2001. He has published several books of poetry, including The Art of Struggle in 1996. An offhand remark about Islam during a publicity tour for his 2001 novel Platform led to Houellebecq being taken to court for inciting racial hatred (he was eventually cleared of all charges). He subsequently moved to Ireland for several years, before moving back to France, where he currently resides. He was described in 2015 as "France’s biggest literary export and, some say, greatest living writer." In a 2017 DW article he is dubbed the "undisputed star, and enfant terrible, of modern French literature".In 2010, he published The Map and the Territory, which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt. In 2015, his next novel, Submission, sparked another controversy for its depiction of Islam. His latest novel, Anéantir, was published in 2022.
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