Virginie Despentes's Apocalypse Baby kept me up several nights in a rowin part because it's a terrific page-turner, and in part because I was anxious to see how Despentes would sustain her narrative ride. Apocalypse Baby is more than a compelling punk, queerish spin on the ir genre. It is a choral performance that tumbles its readers into the heart of violent spectacle, with all its attendant grief, unease, and unclarity. Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts Apocalypse Baby is a smart, fast-paced mystery about a missing adolescent girl traveling through Paris and Barcelona. She is tailed by two mismatched private investigators: the Hyena, part ruthless interrogator, part oversexed rock star, and Lucie, her plain and passivealmost to the point of invisiblesidekick. As their desperate search unfolds, they interrogate a suspicious cast of characters, and the dark heart of contemporary youth culture is exposed.
Virginie Despentes is an award-winning author and filmmaker, and a noted French feminist and cultural critic. She is the award of many award-winning books, including Apocalypse Baby (winner of the 2010 Prix Renaudot) and Vernon Subutex (winner of the Anais-Nin Prize 2015, Prix Landerneau 2015, Prix La Coupole 2015). She also co-directed the screen adaptations of her controversial novels Baise-Moi and Bye Bye Blondie. Sian Reynolds has translated many books on French history, including most of the works of Fernand Braudel. Recent translations include fiction by Virginie Despentes, Antonin Varenne and French crime novelist, Fred Vargas. Four Vargas translations have been awarded the Crime Writers Association International Dagger (2006, 2007, 2009, 2013). She is professor emerita of French at the University of Stirling, Scotland.