France’s most famous living novelist, Michel Houellebecq, appears on course for a fresh literary polemic after it emerged his next book predicts a Muslim will beat the far-Right Front National to run the country in 2022.
Few details had previously emerged about the latest work of France’s literary enfant terrible, who shot to global fame with Atomised and recently won France’s top literary award, Le Goncourt, for The Map and the Territory.
But on Tuesday, it was reported that his next book, out on January 7, is called Submission – a reference to Islam and the submission of infidels to Allah through conversion to the religion.
Set in the very near future, the novel reportedly predicts that despite his record unpopularity, François Hollande, the current Socialist president, manages to clinch a second five-year term in 2017.
However, in 2022, he is knocked out in round one by a far-Right Front National candidate and a certain Mohammed Ben Abbes, backed by the fictitious Muslim Fraternity party. The latter goes on to win the presidency after joining forces with the Socialists, centrist UDI group and Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-Right UMP.
Houellebecq apparently dismisses the idea that Mr Sarkozy will make a triumphant presidential comeback, as he currently hopes.
François Bayrou, a centrist who has run in several presidential elections, is chosen as prime minister, in a scenario that, according to Les Inrockuptibles, “totally overturns (French) society”.