Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take On Each Other and the World

Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take On Each Other and the World

by Bernard-Henri Levy, Michel Houellebecq
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Overview

Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Take On Each Other and the World by Bernard-Henri Levy, Michel Houellebecq

The international publishing sensation is now available in the United States—two brilliant, controversial authors confront each other and their enemies in an unforgettable exchange of letters.
 
In one corner, Bernard-Henri Lévy, creator of the classic Barbarism with a Human Face, dismissed by the media as a wealthy, self-promoting, arrogant do-gooder. In the other, Michel Houellebecq, bestselling author of The Elementary Particles, widely derided as a sex-obsessed racist and misogynist. What began as a secret correspondence between bitter enemies evolved into a remarkable joint personal meditation by France’s premier literary and political live wires.  An instant international bestseller, Public Enemies has now been translated into English for all lovers of superb insights, scandalous opinions, and iconoclastic ideas.

In wicked, wide-ranging, and freewheeling letters, the two self-described “whipping boys” debate whether they crave disgrace or secretly have an insane desire to please. Lévy extols heroism in the face of tyranny; Houellebecq sees himself as one who would “fight little and badly.” Lévy says “life does not ‘live’” unless he can write; Houellebecq bemoans work as leaving him in such “a state of nervous exhaustion that it takes several bottles of alcohol to get out.” There are also touching and intimate exchanges on the existence of God and about their own families.

Dazzling, delightful, and provocative, Public Enemies is a death match between literary lions, remarkable men who find common ground, confident that, in the end (as Lévy puts it), “it is we who will come out on top.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812980783
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/11/2011
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,254,537
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, journalist, activist, and filmmaker. He was hailed by Vanity Fair magazine as “Superman and prophet: we have no equivalent in the United States.” Among his dozens of books are American Vertigo, Barbarism with a Human Face, Who Killed Daniel Pearl? and Left in Dark Times. His writing has appeared in a wide range of publications throughout Europe and the United States. His films include the documentaries Bosna! and A Day in the Death of Sarajevo. Lévy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racism and has served on diplomatic missions for the French government.

Michel Houellebecq has won the prestigious Prix Novembre in France as well as the lucrative International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Ireland.

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