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Public Enemies: Dueling Writers Bernard-henri Lévy And Michel Houellebecq Take On Each Other And The World

They may not have quite the same look (military parka vs. white shirt), but Michel Houellebecq and Bernard-Henri Levy are both genuine French "stars" all too familiar with media and controversy …

The first recently won the Prix Goncourt for his bestseller La Carte et le territoire (The map and the territory), and gave a terrific interview to the Paris Review. The second, can be spotted almost as often in the vicinity of the Carlyle in New York, as in St. Germain-des-Pres… They come together in a book of interviews, Public Enemies, published in France in 2008 and now translated into English by Random House. The review written by Dwight Garner for The New York Times is as bright as it is tasty, and could be summed up in one sentence: "Their book is a minor event (few real sparks fly), but it is flecked with incidental pleasures".

PUBLIC ENEMIESDueling Writers Take on Each Other and the WorldBy Bernard-Henri Lévy and Michel Houellebecq309 pages. Random House. $17.

Throwing Mud and Calling It BeautifulBy Dwight Garner for The New York Times Book Review Published: January 11, 2011

Michel Houellebecq, The Art of Fiction No. 206Interviewed by Susannah Hunnewell for the Paris Review

Read an Except: ’Public Enemies’