Virginie Despentes is the star of the literary season with her new book  » Cher connard » (« Dear asshole » )

She eclipsed Amelie Nothomb

Virginie Despentes is a must this year. In all the media, we talk about her, to the point of eclipsing the usual star of literary returns: Amélie Nothomb. Virginie Despentes therefore signs, with Cher asshole, the event novel of the 2022 literary season. A deeply meditative epistolary fiction in which she stages the written dialogue of two characters : Rebecca, a flamboyant actress in her fifties , and his younger brother Oscar, a once-promising writer now lacking in inspiration. In their exchanges comes the voice of Zoé, a young woman once harassed by Oscar, now a hyperactive feminist activist on the Internet and social networks. This book says a lot about our contemporary world, its violence, its injustices and, faced with them, the disarray of the individual. All things that Virginie Despentes brings to light and digs with acuity, anger, penetration and empathy.

She did not receive the Goncourt prize

Although she did not receive the Goncourt prize, her book “Cher connard” is at the top of the best-selling novels this month. So what explains the success of Virginie Despentes with the French ? “There are few female writers who achieve this level of recognition, in terms of sales and critical appreciation. Virginie Despentes sends back a different image of the « great writer »: already because she is a woman, then because she comes from a working-class background, talks about prostitution, violence and assumes a political voice , emphasizes Cécile Chatelet, temporary teaching and research assistant at the University of Angers. She built herself without a network, didn’t go to a big school, she went through prostitution, she was in the punk world. It is also this trajectory as a whole that makes her particularly remarkable in the literary landscape. Virginie Despentes is also a lesbian and feminist icon. “Many will look to her for food for thought. His energy is saving. Reading Despentes allows you to recharge your batteries, to take energy to militate, ”says Margot Lachkar, researcher at the University of Vienna (Austria) and Paris-8.

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