‘Cher connard’ by Virginie Despentes: bestselling feminist and punk author returns with a dose of tenderness


Acclaimed author Virginie Despentes, whose prolific writing career began in a wild-child bang almost three decades ago with Baise-moi, is back on the bestseller list in France with the publication of Cher connard, a feminist and punk novel that tackles issues of sexual harassment in contemporary French society. It is reviewed here by Lise Wajeman who, while she finds a certain new tenderness in Despentes’ approach, assures that nonetheless “one will never find a mollifying incantation to love and harmony” in the works of Despentes, whose “rage is intact”.

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The insulting, ironic, but tender character of the new novel by French feminist and punk author Virginie Despentes is perfectly captured in its abrupt title, Cher connard, which can be translated as somewhere between ‘Dear cunt’ and ‘Dear bastard’.