Virginie Despentes

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Virginie Despentes
Virginie Despentes 2012.jpg
Despentes in March 2012
Born (1969-06-13) 13 June 1969 (age 48)
Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle
Occupation Novelist, filmmaker

Virginie Despentes (French: [depɑ̃t]; born 13 June 1969) is a French writer, novelist, and filmmaker.

Life and career[edit]

Despentes settled in Lyon,[1] where she worked as a maid, a prostitute in "massage parlors" and peep shows, a sales clerk in a record store, and a freelance rock journalist and pornographic film critic.[2]

She moved to Paris. In 2000, she directed her first film, Baise-moi, an adaptation of her own novel. It starred Coralie Trinh Thi, Karen Lancaume, and Raffaëla Anderson. Baise-moi is a contemporary example of a rape and revenge film, an exploitation films genre.[3]

Her novel Les Jolies choses was adapted for the screen in 2001 by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, with Marion Cotillard and Stomy Bugsy in the lead roles. The film was awarded the Michel d'Ornano prize at the 2001 Deauville American Film Festival.

From 2004 to 2005, she wrote a blog that documented her daily life. Around this time she began dating Spanish philosopher Paul B. Preciado, before he transitioned to male, and began identifying as a lesbian.[4]

In 2005, she wrote three songs for the album Va chercher la police for the group A.S. Dragon.

In 2006, she published a non-fiction work, King Kong Theory. It recounts her experiences in the French sex industry, and the infamy and praise she experienced for writing Baise-Moi.

In 2009 she directed her first documentary, Mutantes (Féminisme Porno Punk), which was broadcast on TV Pink.

In 2010, her novel Apocalypse bébé was awarded the Renaudot prize.

Bye Bye Blondie was adapted for film with Béatrice Dalle and Emmanuelle Béart.[5] Cecilia Backes and Salima Boutebal produced a stage adaptation of King Kong Theory during the "Outside" Festival d'Avignon.[6]

In 2011, her commentary on Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared in The Guardian.[7]


Despentes won the 1998 Prix de Flore, and 1999 Prix Saint-Valentin for Les Jolies Choses; 2010 Prix Renaudot for Apocalypse Bébé.




  • 1997 : « C'est dehors, c'est la nuit », recueil collectif Dix, Grasset / Les Inrockuptibles.
  • 1999 : Mordre au travers, recueil de nouvelles, Librio.
  • 2004 : « Toujours aussi pute », Revue Bordel, n°2, Flammarion.
  • 2004 : « Putain, je déteste le foot... », biography of Lemmy Kilmister of the group Motörhead, Rock & Folk, n°444.
  • 2004 : une nouvelle dans le recueil Des nouvelles du Prix de Flore, Flammarion.
  • 2009 : « I put a spell on you », Psychologies magazine, Hors série « Les Secrets de l'érotisme ».


  1. ^ "Despentes abrupte! - L'EXPRESS". Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  2. ^ Marianne Costa. "Despentes : anarcho-féministe". Le Magazine.Info. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  3. ^ Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (2011). Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-4961-3. 
  4. ^ Oyler, Lauren (7 August 2015). "Behind the Scenes With Virginie Despentes". Broadly. Vice Media. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Reportage: Julien RENSONNET; Montage: Gérard ROBAYE. "Manon des sources est devenue lesbienne: Emmanuelle Béa..." Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  6. ^ "" King Kong théorie ", de Virginie Despentes (critique de Fabrice Chêne), Off du Festival d'Avignon 2010, La Manufacture à Avignon" (in French). Les Trois Coups. 2010-11-07. Archived from the original on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  7. ^ "Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the game only one side plays". The Guardian. 23 May 2011. 

External links[edit]