On Michel Houellebecq

I have a review of Michael Houellebecq's latest book, La Carte et le Territoire, which just won the 2010 Goncourt, out in The National. I discovered Houellebecq late in life, and consider him one of the best living French writers. This is an appreciation, although it's tinged with a note of disappointment that he didn't win the Goncourt for his 2005 novel The Possibility of an Island, which I think is his best work. 

I don't particularly care about Houellebecq's private life or his provocative opinions, including his rather thoughtless comments on Islam, which is pretty much the only tenuous connection I can find to the usual fare on this blog.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.