Michel Houellebecq envisages 2027 French election in latest novel Destroy

New book by firebrand author features a Macron-like outgoing leader as well as real-life figures including far-right Éric Zemmour

With the French presidential campaign under way, one of the country’s most provocative writers, Michel Houellebecq, is back with a novel closely linked to the forthcoming election. The 65-year-old author of Atomised and Platform releases the French edition of his 730-page novel Anéantir (Destroy) on Friday, with a sizeable first print run of 300,000 copies.

Anéantir begins during a fictional presidential election campaign in 2027. Marine Le Pen has stepped down as leader of the National Rally but far-right candidate Éric Zemmour is still sparking controversy. President Emmanuel Macron is another real-life figure who, while not named, seems to feature, as is Bruno Le Maire, the current economy minister. Le Maire, a friend of Houellebecq, is the inspiration for Bruno Juge, one of the story’s protagonists.

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