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  • MacLehose Press
  • MacLehose Press
  • Maclehose Press

Dear Dickhead

Virginie Despentes

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France, Diaries, letters & journals, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation

A tightly woven epistolary novel set during France's Covid lockdowns as its small cast of characters communicate via emails, Instagram messages, blogs and texts. A perfect encapsulation of our times, touching on gender, addiction, sexuality, consent, #MeToo, feminism, toxic masculinity, ageing, entitlement and privilege.

"Brilliant - funny, wise and completely addictive - a work of angry, outrageous and hilarious genius" VICTORIA HISLOP

"Full of energy and blistering rationality" LISA McINERNEY

"A must-read . . . While waiting for society to evolve, Virginie Despentes stays the same" Vogue

Dear Dickhead,
I read the piece you posted on Insta. You're like a pigeon shitting on my shoulder as you flap past. It's shitty and unpleasant. Congratulations: you've had your fifteen minutes of fame! You want proof? Here I am writing to you.

Rebecca Latte is a famous actress in her fifties, perhaps past the peak of her career.

Oscar Jayack is a middle-aged, moderately successful author who, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, has been accused of sexual harassment by his former publicist-turned-feminist blogger Zoe Katana.

When Oscar insults Rebecca's appearance on Instagram, she sends a scorching reply and the pair fall into a spiral of mutual antipathy. In back-and-forth emails, they vie for the last word, finding common ground in their experiences of addiction, assessing the changing world around them as Covid locks down Paris, and reluctantly beginning to lean on one another.

A novel of rage, irreverence and vulnerability, exploring ageing, gender, privilege, addiction and consent, Dear Dickhead is an excoriating encapsulation of our times and of the broken human beings trying to make sense of it.

"Virginie Despentes writes with a harpoon . . . A queer Castor. A grunge Jane Austen. A punk Pythia. A bacchante rebelling against the patriarchal order" Causeur

Translated from the French by Frank Wynne

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Virginie Despentes

VIRGINIE DESPENTES is a writer and filmmaker. Her first novel, Baise-Moi was published in 1992 and adapted for film in 2000. She is the author of over fifteen further novels, including Apocalypse Baby (2010) and Bye Bye Blondie (2004), and the autobiographical work, King Kong Theory (2006). She won the Prix de Flore in 1998 forLes Jolies Choses, the 2010 Prix Renaudot for Apocalypse Baby and Vernon Subutex One won the Prix AnaA s Nin in 2015, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker International in 2018.

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