Virginie Despentes (French: [depɑ̃t]; born 13 June 1969) is a French writer, novelist, and filmmaker.
Life and career
Despentes settled in Lyon, 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.
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.
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.
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 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. Cecilia Backes and Salima Boutebal produced a stage adaptation of King Kong Theory during the "Outside" Festival d'Avignon.
In 2011, her commentary on Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared in The Guardian.
Despentes won the 1998 Prix de Flore, and 1999 Prix Saint-Valentin for Les Jolies Choses; 2010 Prix Renaudot for Apocalypse Bébé.