A fearlessly feminist roadtrip novel, packed with atmosphere and romance.
About the book
Valentine, the troubled daughter of a well-off but dysfunctional Parisian family, vanishes on her way to school. Inexperienced private detective Lucie Toledo is hired to find the missing teenager, and enlists the help of a formidable agent with a past, known to her friends as the Hyena. Their quest, from Paris to Barcelona and back, uncovers a rich cast of characters whose paths have crossed Valentine's, leading to an alarming climax. Part political thriller, part road-movie, part romance, the latest novel by subversive writer and film-maker Virginie Despentes won the Prix Renaudot 2010 for the pitiless gaze it directs at society in the age of the internet.
A gloriously fearless writer
Despentes argues compellingly about women's guilt, men's power and the way that both are still abused three decades after the supposed triumph of feminism.
A breath of fresh air, this vehement affirmation of liberty, this cry of a woman for women
A darkly disturbing road-trip thriller
Acerbic and perceptive, and there is a refreshingly transgressive spirit to much of what goes on here ... Apocalypse Baby undoubtedly has a lot to say about modern France, and its depiction of the fraught nature of 21st-century living is assured and insightful. Sexual power, politics, literature, racism and violence all come under Despentes's withering gaze