Virginie Despentes launches her queer and feminist publishing house

Fri, March 11, 2022

Virgine Despentes partners with the photographer and director Axelle Le Dauphinwho is also a decorator for the cinema (notably on Titanium by Julia Ducourneau, Palme d’or last year). Their house is called The Legend Editions and aims to promote the representation and visibility of queer culturethrough ldrunk on gender identity and non-binary minority sexual orientations. According to Weekly Books, they wish to create a collective for research, defense, archiving and dissemination of queer and feminist art and culture . The Legend Editions will also work to deconstruct gender stereotypes and fight against sexism.

Virginie Despentes has nothing left to prove

Before becoming one of the great French literary figures of today, she landed in the literature with fuck me in 1993, when she was a saleswoman in the book section of a Virgin Megastore in Paris. The novel has sold more than 50,000 copies in a few weeks and he opened doors for him.

Cover of Virginie Despentes’ live: Baise-moi (1993)

Virginie Despentes has had several lives, notably in the Lyon punk scene, and she was also one of the first French rappers, in the early 90s within the group. Straight Royeur with Cara Zina. The duo mixed rap and punk with feminist lyrics and released a single album, Fear of a Female Planet (title inspired by Fear of a Black Planet of Public Enemy). The sociologist Karim Hammou has dedicated to them a book released last year.

Virginie Despentes is also the trilogy Vernon Subutex (2015-2017), the story of a former record store owner turned homeless, which sold 1.8 million copies. With this work, she has been compared to Balzac for its ability to describe society and all the characters that make it up.

And Virginie Despentes is obviously King-Kong Theory, published in 2006, sold 350,000 copies since, and which continues to sell well every week as long as it remains topical. This little essay in which she recounts her life, her rape, her reflections, her change of sexual orientation, was perceived by many girls (and boys) younger than her as the manifesto of a new feminism.

A new political dimension

For Virginie Despentes, the launch of her house first gives her a political dimension: she creates a space that she masters from A to Z to develop her speech. It’s the idea of ​​saying “for us, by us“, without any outside pressure. We think in particular of Vincent Bolloré, owner of Editis, who wants to get his hands on the Hachette group to create a monopoly for creative freedom and literary diversity. Virginie Despentes is also part of the collective #StopBolloré, who recently published a Tribune to denounce the strategy of the industrialist.

The first book of The Legend Editions will be collective. It will retrace the great hours of pulp, Paris lesbian nightclub that closed in 2007, known for being a safe space for women and which revealed many resident DJs, such as Chloé, Sextoy or Jennifer Cardini. See you in the fall in bookstores.

The birth of new structures

Authors who create their own structure, it is also an increasingly strong trend in the world of books : this is the case of the Swiss novelist Joel Dicker (Rosie & Wolfe), from the comic book author Riad Sattouf (Books of the future), and even Kylian Mbappewho edited his comic strip on his own My name is Kylian. And this trend should accelerate, perhaps following the example of the American writer Brandon Sandersonscience fiction and fantasy author, who raised $23 million for the publication of 4 novels thanks to crowdfunding (this is the largest sum raised in the history of Kickstarter).

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Virginie Despentes launches her queer and feminist publishing house