Virginie Despentes is a writer, filmmaker, and occasional translator and performer. She came to prominence in 1994 with the publication of her first novel,


, translated into English in 2003 as

Rape Me

(though a literal translation would be “fuck me”). Saturated with graphic scenes of sex and violence, this novel earned Despentes notoriety and established her reputation as an

enfant terrible

on the margins of the French literary scene. In the years since the publication of


, Despentes has gradually moved in “from margins to center” (Schaal 2018), achieving mainstream commercial success. Her novel

Apocalypse bébé


Apocalypse Baby

, 2015) won the Prix Renaudot, while her

Vernon Subutex

trilogy (2015–17;

Vernon Subutex 1–3

, 2018–20) was a bestseller in…

3961 words

Citation: Pugh, Alexandra. "Virginie Despentes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 November 2022 [, accessed 19 April 2024.]

14888 Virginie Despentes 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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