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Even before the Charlie Hebdo shootings, Houellebecq’s last novel Submission—which envisages an Islamist being elected head of France in 2022—was being talked about by President Francois Hollande; after, it sold 120,000 copies in five days. Houellebecq, a controversial figure, has been accused of stirring up anti-Muslim feeling in France. His defenders say his real target is the complacent and sterile culture of liberal France.

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Further reading:

Michel Houellebecq official site

Interview: Michel Houellebecq Susannah Hunnewell

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