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article imageHouellebecq's Muslim France novel to be made into TV series

By AFP     Jan 16, 2019 in World

A television version of French novelist Michel Houellebecq's most controversial book is in the pipeline, its backers said Wednesday.

"Submission" has divided critics for imagining a near future in which sharia law is imposed in France after a Muslim president is elected.

Many saw it as provocative, with the writer -- who once described Islam as "the stupidest religion" -- later admitting that he was "probably Islamophobic".

The literary bad boy went into hiding the day it was published in January 2015 after jihadists attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, killing 12 people, including a close friend of the writer.

The French film and TV board told AFP that it was helping to fund a series based on the bestseller for the small screen by Guillaume Nicloux.

The film-maker directed the 2014 comedy, "The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq", in which the novelist also starred.

Nicloux is also working on another project in which the socially awkward writer will act alongside French screen legend Gerard Depardieu.

"Submission" sold nearly 800,000 copies in French and more than half a million in Germany alone, confirming Houellebecq's status as the most read modern French writer abroad.

Houellebecq's latest novel, "Serotonin", became an instant bestseller after it was published earlier this month.

Critics hailed it as prophetic, saying that the ageing enfant terrible had predicted the "yellow vests" protest movement that has shaken the country over the last three months.

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