The Elementary Particles

By Michel Houellebecq; Frank Wynne (Translator)
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780375727016, 272pp.

Publication Date: November 13, 2001

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An international literary phenomenon, The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that leaps headlong into the malaise of contemporary existence.
Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandoned by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties. Bruno, the older, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immersed in the solitude of his work. Each is ultimately offered a final chance at genuine love, and what unfolds is a brilliantly caustic and unpredictable tale.
Translated from the French by Frank Wynne.

About the Author
Ne en 1958, a La Reunion, Michel Houellebecq est ingenieur agronome de formation, ecrivain et cineaste. Michel Houellebecq publie, en 1991, une biographie de Howard Lovecraft, "Contre le monde, contre la vie""La Poursuite du bonheur", un recueil de poemes, aux editions de la Difference, en 1992, qui obtient le prix Tristan Tzara. En 1994, Michel Houellebecq signe son premier roman intitule "Extension du domaine de la lutte" (Maurice Nadeau), puis son deuxieme recueil de poemes, "Le Sens du combat" (Flammarion, 1996), prix de Flore 1996. Parallelement, il collabore a de nombreuses revues, en particulier, "L'Atelier du roman" et "Les Inrockuptibles". En 1998, Michel Houellebecq recoit le Grand Prix national des Lettres Jeunes Talents pour l'ensemble de son oeuvre.

Michel Houellebecqpublie ensuite, chez Flammarion, "Les Particules elementaires" ( 1998), "Lanzarote" (2000) et "Plateforme" ( 2001). En 2005, Michel Houellebecq a publie, aux editionsFayard, "La Possibilite d'une ile", prix Interallie 2005.

Photo: (c) Michel Houellebecq

Frank Wynne is a writer and award-winning literary translator. Born in Ireland he has lived and worked in Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Buenos Aires and currently lives in San Jose, Costa Rica. He has translated more than a dozen major novels, among them the works of Michel Houellebecq, Frederic Beigbeder, Pierre Merot and the Ivorian novelist Ahmadou Kourouma. A journalist and broadcaster, he has written for the "Sunday Times," the "Independent," the "Irish Times," "Melody Maker," and "Time Out,"

Praise For The Elementary Particles

"An original work of art–ironic, intelligent and as airtight and elegant as a geometry proof."
--The New York Times Magazine

"[A] brilliant novel of ideas... [A] riveting novel by a deft, observant writer."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Fearless, vivid and astringently honest…surprisingly funny... [C]an permanently change how we view things that happened in our own lives. Not many novels can do that."
--Los Angeles Times

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