November 8th, 2010
12:57 PM ET

Houellebecq wins top French literary prize

Michelle Houellebecq won the Prix Goncourt.

Controversial satirist Michel Houellebecq received France's top literary award Monday.

"La Carte et le Territoire" (The Map and the Territory, published by Flammarion), Houellebecq's best-selling send-up of Paris' artistic society earned the Prix Goncourt, the prize committee announced.

Houellebecq is considered by many to be France's greatest living writer, and fans considered the Goncourt long overdue.

Critics are often taken aback at his frank descriptions of sex and his characters' morbid worldview, according to The Paris Review.

He also has been accused of misogyny and hatred of Muslims, charges he has done little to dispel, according to the review.

Houellebecq's other titles include "The Possibility of an Island," "Whatever," "The Elementary Particles," and "Human Presence."

Artists as varied as Iggy Pop and French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy have written songs based on Houellebecq's works.

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Filed under: Art • France • World
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Jed Martin

    He is not a satirist, he is a writer with a point of view on the world, and by the way, unlike satirists, his style is quite neutral.
    And his first name is Michel, not Michelle.

    November 8, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      And what are you gonna do, missy?

      November 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Meptome

    If he knows how to pronounce his name, he should get some sort of speaking award as well.

    November 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. osama bin diesel

    Would you like french fries with that ?

    November 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cesar

    Yes, I agree. If Tomcat can pronounce his name, he too should get an award.

    November 9, 2010 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |