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Virginie Despentes

Writer and film director

The French writer and filmmaker Virginie Despentes is one of the most vigorous representatives of contemporary feminism. Her career is as varied as the plots of her novels. Born into a working-class family, she worked in a record shop and in a peep show, was a prostitute and punk, left home, dropped out of school when she was seventeen, fought with her family, and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

She never wished to be famous but her first novel Baise-moi (Florent Massot, 1993 – in English, Fuck Me, Grove Press, 2002, and in Spanish, Fóllame, Mondadori, 2001) became a bestseller and was made into a film. Since then, her audience has never stopped growing. Her book Teoria King Kong (L’Altra Editorial 2018, in English, King Kong Theory, Serpent’s Tail, 2009), an essay published for the first time in French in 2006, in which she described the experience of being raped when she was seventeen, has become an essential feminist text. Her novels include volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Vernon Subutext trilogy (published in English by MacLehose Press in 2017, 2018, and 2021), and Apocalipsis Bebé (Literatura Random House, 2022 – in English, Apocalypse Baby, Feminist Press, 2015). In 2022 she published Cher connard (Dear Asshole, Grasset), which was translated into Spanish (Querido Capullo, Literatura Random House, 2023). This work offers a complex overview of social life, exploring the themes of friendship, the various kinds of feminism, social networks, and addictions.

Update: 21 April 2023


Has participated in

Virginie Despentes and Irantzu Varela

From libertinism to the right to sex

Primera Persona 2018

Autobiographic live sessions: stand-up comedy, pop music, theatre and narrative