Frédéric Beigbeder

Frédéric Beigbeder (French: [fʁedeʁik bɛɡbedeʁ]; born 21 September 1965) is a French writer, literary critic and a TV presenter. He won the Prix Interallié in 2003 for his novel Windows on the World and the Prix Renaudot in 2009 for his book Un roman français. He is also the creator of the Flore and Sade Awards. In addition, he is the executive director of Lui, a French adult entertainment magazine.

Frédéric Beigbeder
Born21 September 1965
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Notable awardsPrix Interallié in 2003 for his novel Windows on the World, Prix Renaudot in 2009 for his book Un roman français

Life and career

Beigbeder was born into a privileged family in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine. His mother, Christine de Chasteigner, is a translator of mawkish novels (Barbara Cartland et al.); his brother is Charles Beigbeder, a businessman. He studied at the Lycée Montaigne and Louis-le-Grand, and later at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris and the CELSA Paris-Sorbonne. Upon graduation at the age of 24, he began work as a copywriter in Young & Rubicam,[1] then as an author, broadcaster, publisher, and dilettante.

In 1994, Beigbeder founded the "Prix de Flore", which takes its name from the famous and plush Café de Flore in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The prize is awarded annually to a promising young French author. Vincent Ravalec, Jacques A. Bertrand, Michel Houellebecq are among those who have won the prize. In 2004, the tenth anniversary of the prize, it was awarded to the only American to ever receive it, Bruce Benderson. Three of Beigbeder's novels, 99 Francs, L'amour dure trois ans and Windows on the World, have been or will be adapted for the cinema. The film of Windows on the World will be directed by the French/English director Max Pugh.

In 2002, he presented the TV talk show "Hypershow" on French channel Canal +, co-presented with Jonathan Lambert, Sabine Crossen and Henda. That year he also advised French Communist Party candidate Robert Hue in the presidential election.

In 2005, he was, with others authors such as Alain Decaux, Richard Millet and Jean-Pierre Thiollet, one of the Beirut Book Fair's guests in the Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center, commonly (BIEL).

He worked for a few years as an editor for Flammarion. He left Flammarion in 2006.

His novel Un roman français was awarded the Prix Renaudot in November 2009.[2]

He writes columns in Le Figaro Magazine since 2010.

Literary work

Writing style

Frédéric Beigbeder’s writing style includes both humour and self-mockery. His books are full of high-low cultural references.[3]

Chronology of works

Novels and short stories

He published his first Novel entitled Mémoires d'un jeune homme derangé which was published by La Table Ronde in 1990 when he was 25.[4]

He published his second novel, Holiday in a Coma, in 1994, followed by Love Lasts Three Years, the last book of the trilogy of Marc Marronier, one of his main characters. Then, he wrote a collection of short stories entitled Nouvelles sous Ecstasy published by Gallimard.

In 2000, Frédéric Beigbeder was dismissed from the advertising agency Young & Rubicam after publishing his satirical novel 99 F (original title of the paperback edition : each edition in French and other languages was named after its actual retail price, for instance in the USA it was named $9.99, in Germany it became Neununddreißigneunzig and even its French title was changed after the Franc was replaced as the official currency by the Euro in 2001, as well as for the pocket edition) in which he criticized the advertising world, and which simultaneously turned him into a prominent author (that book generated significant press coverage, very good sales in the original French edition, and was later translated in English and several other languages).

He won the Prix Interallié in 2003 for his Windows on the World which takes place at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. The English translation by Frank Wynne was awarded by the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2005.

In 2005, he published L'Egoïste Romantique (The Romantic Egoist).

In 2007, he published Au secours pardon, the sequel of 99F.

In 2008, he was arrested for snorting cocaine off the hood of a car in Paris in the 8th Arrondissement. He was also in possession of 2.6 grams of cocaine. The arrest inspired his book A French Novel.[5]

Comic books

He also wrote comic books for a series called Rester Normal (Staying Normal), illustrated by Philippe Bertrand and published by Dargaud. The comic book was a caricature of the international jet-set. Two books were published : Rester Normal (2002) and Rester Normal à Saint-Tropez (2004).


Frédéric Beigbeder published several essays.

In 2001, in Dernier inventaire avant liquidation, he criticized the first 50 works of Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century, a list of the one hundred best French books of the 20th century.

In this essay, using his original writing style, Beigbeder commented on a mix of great novels, poetry, plays, as well as comic strips.

In 2005, he published Je crois, moi non-plus, composed of a discussion about the Catholic religion between himself and Monseigneur Jean-Michel Di Falco, the Bishop of Gap.

In 2007, the publishing house Leo Scheer released a collection of books entitled Écrivains Aujoud'hui (Today's Writers), the first of which was dedicated to Frédéric Beigbdeder. The book was centered around a discussion between Beigbdeder and Angie David about his career and his literary work. In 2011, he commented on the 100 favourite books of the 20th-century in Premier bilan après Apocalypse¸ the sequel of Dernier inventaire avant liquidation.


Frédéric Beigbeder was awarded the Prix Interallié in 2003 for his novel Windows on the World. He won the Prix Renaudot in 2009 for his book Un roman français.


From 2003 to 2006, he worked as a publisher in the French publishing house Flammarion. Within three years, he published 25 books for Flammarion.

Frédéric Beigbeder founded the Prix de Flore, which rewards young authors; he also serves as chairman of the jury. He also created the Sade Award in 2001 with Lionel Aracil. He was member of the jury of Prix Décembre from 2003 to 2010. Since March 2011, he has been member of the jury for the Prix Renaudot. In addition, he was jury member for the Prix Saint-Germain from 2011 to 2013 and for the Prix Fitzgerald.



In 1990, he started his career in advertising as a copywriter and worked in various agencies for ten years, including over 5 years at the agency Young & Rubicam. Alongside his advertising career, he worked as a writer and as a literary columnist for a variety of French magazines such as Elle, Paris Match and Voici.


He is the co-author with Jean-Marie Périer of L'Attrape-Salinger, a documentary about J. D. Salinger. He plays himself in Les ruses de Frédéric (2007), a short film by Louis Skorecki, and also appears in Les infortunes de la beauté by John Lvoff (which he co-wrote), Hey Good Looking ! by Lisa Azuelos, Tu vas rire, mais je te quitte by Philippe Harel and La personne aux deux personnes by Nicolas and Bruno. He also appeared in the pornographic film La fille du batelier, by Patrice Cabanel, as a background character.

He makes several cameo appearances in 99 Francs, the film adaptation of his novel directed by Jan Kounen. He also aided in filming as well as writing the screenplay. As a director, he made Love Last Three Years starring Gaspard Proust, Frédérique Bel, Jonathan Lambert and Louise Bourgoin.


In 1996, he co-created a literary magazine called NRV (a pun with the word énervé, meaning angry). In 2003, he co-founded Bordel, another literary magazine (meaning literally brothel but mostly used nowadays as a curse word). Frédéric Beigbeder worked as a columnist for various magazines, including the French edition of GQ.

Since 2013, he has been the executive editor of the French magazine Lui. In 2012, he replaced François Nourissier for Feuilleton Magazine, a weekly supplement of Le Figaro Magazine.


From September 2005 to May 2007, he worked for the French TV show Le Grand Journal hosted by Michel Denisot.

In addition, he hosts Le Cercle, a TV programme of literary and film reviews broadcast on Canal+ Cinéma.[6]



  • 1997: "Vacances dans le coma" (translated into English as Holiday in a Coma by Frank Wynne)
  • 1997: "L'amour dure trois ans" (translated into English as Love Lasts Three Years by Frank Wynne)
  • 2000: 99 francs (Retitled 14,99 euros after the introduction of the euro), Grasset (translated into English as £9.99 by Adriana Hunter)
  • 2003: Windows on the World, Grasset (translated under the same title by Frank Wynne)
  • 2005: L'Égoïste romantique (The Romantic Egoist), Grasset
  • 2007: Au secours pardon, Grasset
  • 2009: Un roman français, Grasset (translated into English as A French Novel by Frank Wynne)
  • 2014: Oona & Salinger, Grasset


  • 2001: Dernier inventaire avant liquidation, Grasset
  • 2011: Premier bilan après l'apocalypse, Grasset


  • 2004: Je crois Moi non-plus : Dialogue entre un évêque et un mécréant Calmann-Lévy

Comic books

  • 2002: Rester normal Dargaud
  • 2004: Rester normal à Saint-Tropez Dargaud


Personal life

Beigbeder has admitted that many of his novels were broadly autobiographical, and that the character of Octave in both 99 francs and Au secours, pardon is in many ways his avatar. On the other hand, he contends that he is "more normal in real life than in [his] books" and that he is not like the characters in his books because he is actually too normal.

He is divorced and has a daughter, Chloé.

Frédéric Beigbeder married the French model Lara Micheli in the Bahamas, and had another daughter, Oona, with his new wife, in 2015.

Editor's note

The sections writing style, influences, literary genres and themes are based on the two following books :

  • Frédéric Beigbeder et ses doubles, by Alain-Philippe Durand (including letters and an interview of the writer), CRIN 51 – 2008, ISBN 9789042024724
  • Frédéric Beigbeder by Angie David, published in French by Léo Scheer, 2007, ISBN 9782756100920

The aim was to comply with an author page template.


  1. ^ Archived 20 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ (French)
  3. ^ A French Novel by Frédéric Beigbeder – review, The Guardian, 14 September 2013
  4. ^ Frédéric Beigbeder: Mémoires d'un Jeune Homme Dérangé, 3 March 2011
  5. ^ How Frédéric Beigbeder recovered his past after a drugs bust, Independent, 19 July 2013
  6. ^ How Frédéric Beigbeder recovered his past after a drugs bust, Independent, 19 July 2013

External links

99 Francs

99 Francs is a 2000 novel by French writer Frédéric Beigbeder. The book was released in France on August 2000 through Grasset & Fasquelle and has since been re-released under the titles € 14.99 and € 5.90. Shortly after the book's initial release Beigbeder was fired from his advertising job after his employers read 99 Francs.In 2007 the book was adapted into a film by the same name that was directed by Jan Kounen and written by Nicolas & Bruno.

99 Francs (film)

99 Francs is a 2007 film by the French director Jan Kounen based on the novel of the same name by Frédéric Beigbeder written by Nicolas & Bruno. It stars Jean Dujardin.

Alain Decaux

Alain Decaux (23 July 1925 − 27 March 2016) was a French historian by profession. He was elected to the Académie française on 15 February 1979.

In 2005, he was, with others authors as Frédéric Beigbeder, Mohamed Kacimi, Richard Millet and Jean-Pierre Thiollet, among the Beirut Book Fair's main guests in the Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center, commonly (BIEL).

Beur sur la ville

Beur sur la ville is a 2011 French comedy directed by Djamel Bensalah.

Charles Beigbeder

Charles Beigbeder is a French businessman.

Elephant (2019 film)

Elephant (Russian: Элефант) is a 2019 Russian comedy film directed and written by Aleksey Krasovskiy. It stars Aleksei Guskov.

Frank Wynne

Frank Wynne (born 1962) is an Irish literary translator and writer.

Born in Co. Sligo, Ireland, he worked as a comics editor at Fleetway and later at comic magazine Deadline. He worked for a time at AOL before becoming a literary translator. He has translated many authors including Michel Houellebecq, Boualem Sansal, Frédéric Beigbeder and the late Ivoirian novelist Ahmadou Kourouma.

He jointly won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with Houellebecq for Atomised, his translation of Les Particules élémentaires. His translation of Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the World, a novel set in the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York during the September 11, 2001 attacks, won the 2005 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Notably, he is a two-time winner of both the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize for translation from the French (in 2008 for Frédéric Beigbeder's Holiday in a Coma and Love Lasts Three Years and in 2015 for Boualem Sansal's Harraga) and the Premio Valle Inclán for Spanish Translation (in 2011 for Marcelo Figueras's Kamchatka and in 2013 for Alonso Cueto's The Blue Hour).

His book, I Was Vermeer, a biography of Han van Meegeren was published by Bloomsbury in August 2006 and serialised as the BBC Radio 4 "Book of the Week" (read by Anton Lesser) in August 2006.

Jean-Pierre Thiollet

Jean-Pierre Thiollet (born 9 December 1956) is a French writer and journalist.

Usually living in Paris, he is the author of numerous books and one of the national leaders of Confédération européenne des indépendants (CEDI), a European employers' organization.

He attended school in Châtellerault, before his studies in Poitiers classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles and his degrees in Parisian universities (Pantheon-Sorbonne University, University of Paris III:Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris-Sorbonne University).In 1978, he was admitted to Saint-Cyr (Coëtquidan).During the 1980s and until the mid-1990s, he was a member of a French Press organization for Music-hall, Circus, Dance and Arts presided by a well known journalist in France, Jacqueline Cartier, with authors or notable personalities as Pierre Cardin, Guy des Cars, and Francis Fehr. In the mid-1980s, he was too a contributing editor to Theatre Magazine, published by the Monégasque Michel Pastor.From 1982 to 1986, he was victim of illegal wiretaps (organized by the French President François Mitterrand), for his telephone conversations with the French writer and polemist Jean-Edern Hallier.At the end of the 1980s, he was a vice-president of Amiic (World Real Estate Investment Organization, Geneva).From 1988 to 1994, he was editor-in-chief for Le Quotidien de Paris (Daily Press Group).In 1994, he was the author allowed to interview Gérard Mulliez, one of the wealthiest and powerful people in France, for the book The Customer Driven Company — Moving from Talk to Action (translated in French as La Dynamique du client) by Richard C. Whiteley.

In 1997, he played a discreet and influential role in the parliamentary election in Toulon as communications director and member of the Mayor's Cabinet. He was arbitrarily dismissed the morning after the successful poll and then published Le Chevallier à découvert (Laurens, Paris), a strongly suggestive and humorous book some months later. In 1997 too, he was, with Émile Gardaz, among the personalities when the township of Delphi appointed the renowned environmentalist Franz Weber a Citoyen d'honneur.

In 1999, he co-produced Studies (Chopin) recorded by Radoslav Kvapil. From 1999 to 2001, he was the Company Secretary of Mea Publications Limited (United Kingdom) producing both a print product, Ici Londres magazine, and an Internet product, was, with Alain Decaux, Frédéric Beigbeder and Richard Millet, one of the guest writers at the 2005 Beirut Book Fair (BIEL) for Je m'appelle Byblos (My Name Is Byblos).

In April 2006, he was directly concerned with the business resumption of France Soir but the entrepreneur Jean-Pierre Brunois was finally chosen by the Commercial Court of Lille.Since 2007, he has been a member of the World Grand Family of Lebanon (RJ Lebanon Club).From 2009 to 2012, he worked as one of the France-Soir editors.In 2010, he was among the petition's signatures for Roman Polanski when the film director was temporarily arrested by Swiss police at the request of U.S authorities.In October 2016, after dedicating a book about Jean-Edern Hallier to "the youth native from Euroland, zone F, victim of an old criminal political ruling class", he denounces in an interview "the French crime, committed by a political class, from the left as from the right".In 2017, he creates the Cercle InterHallier, in tribute to Jean-Edern Hallier.

Jonathan Lambert (actor)

Jonathan Lambert (born 24 June 1973) is a French actor and comedian.

Le Grand Journal (French TV program)

Le Grand Journal is a French nightly news and talk show television program that aired on Canal+ every weekday evening from 19:10 to 20:20. It debuted on August 30, 2004 and was created and hosted by Michel Denisot, succeeded by Antoine de Caunes and then later by Maïtena Biraben. Victor Robert took on the reins from 2016 to the program's end in 2017. Originally a one-hour program, it expanded to two hours in 2005. Even though the program was broadcast on the premium channel Canal+, it was a non-encrypted program.

The program features news, talk, weather and comedy. It is produced by KM Productions for Canal+ and broadcast from the Studios Rive Gauche on Quai André-Citroën in Paris.

Love Lasts Three Years

Love Lasts Three Years (original title: L'Amour dure trois ans) is a 2011 French-Belgian comedy film written and directed by Frédéric Beigbeder.


Lui (French for "Him") is a French adult entertainment magazine created in November 1963 by Daniel Filipacchi, a fashion photographer turned publisher, Jacques Lanzmann, a jack of all trades turned novelist, and Frank Ténot, a press agent, pataphysician and jazz critic.

The objective was to bring some charm "à la française" to the market of men's magazines, following the success of Playboy in the United States, launched just a decade before.

France, indeed, in the first half of 20th century had an outstanding reputation for erotic publications, feeding also foreign market and inspiring also ersatz French-flavoured magazines abroad, when, for example, US publishers used French-sounding titles like Chère and Dreamé or placed tricolour flags on the covers, attempting to attract the casual buyer. It was anyway a semi-clandestine circulating material, not allowed to be freely displayed or openly bought. In this sense Playboy changed the way 'soft pornography' (become more respectfully 'adult entertainment'), can be publicly circulated.

This magazine was particularly successful from its origins to the early 1980s, afterwards it began a long decline. It was published regularly until November 1987 (the final issue of this first series was the number 285). After 1987 there was a further attempt to relaunch the title but the publication ceased again in 1994. Passed into the hands of the media group of Michel Birnbaum, after a transient stimulus, it became a pornographic magazine with episodic dissemination. It was published every three months.

After the purchase of the title by Jean-Yves Le Fur, Lui was relaunched on 5 September 2013 as a high-end magazine with Frédéric Beigbeder at its helm.

Olivier Maulin

Olivier Maulin (born 1969 in Alsace) is a French writer. His works have been characterised by humour and satire. His 2006 novel En attendant le roi du monde received the Ouest-France Prize at the Étonnants voyageurs festival. The journalist Jérôme Leroy has described Maulin as an "anar de droite", a right-wing anarchist, and thereby grouped him with writers such as François Rabelais, Marcel Aymé, Antoine Blondin and the screenwriter Michel Audiard. Reviewing Maulin's novel Les Lumières du ciel for Le Figaro, Frédéric Beigbeder described Maulin as a "neo-hippie".

Prix Renaudot

The Prix Théophraste-Renaudot or Prix Renaudot (French pronunciation: ​[pʁi teofʁast rənodo]) is a French literary award which was created in 1926 by 10 art critics awaiting the results of deliberation of the jury of the Prix Goncourt.

The Prix Renaudot, while not officially related to the Prix Goncourt, is a kind of complement to it, announcing its laureate at the same time and place as the Prix Goncourt, namely on the first Tuesday of November at the Drouant restaurant in Paris. The Renaudot jurors always pick an alternative laureate in case their first choice is awarded the Prix Goncourt.

The prize is named after Théophraste Renaudot, who created the first French newspaper in 1631.

Prix de Flore

The Prix de Flore is a French literary prize founded in 1994 by Frédéric Beigbeder. The aim of the prize is to reward youthful authors and is judged by a panel of journalists. It is awarded yearly in November, at the Café de Flore in Paris. The prize only applies to French-language literature, even though the author does not have to be French. Bruce Benderson was the first non-French author to receive the prize, in 2004, for the novel Autobiographie érotique (released in English as The Romanian: Story of an Obsession).

The laureate of the Prix de Flore wins about 6,000 Euros and is entitled to drink a glass of Pouilly-Fumé, a white wine from the Loire region of France, at the Café de Flore every day for a year. The laureate's name is engraved on the glass.

Simon Liberati

Simon Liberati (born 12 May 1960 in Paris) is a French writer and journalist.

Sulphuric Acid (novel)

Sulphuric Acid (French: Acide sulfurique) is a Belgian novel by Amélie Nothomb. It was first published in 2005. It details the thoughts and pursuits of the people involved in a reality show recreating a concentration camp.

The book provoked strong reactions, both for and against. Nothomb was subsequently invited to explain herself on a TV show hosted by her friend Frédéric Beigbeder.

Windows on the World (novel)

Windows on the World is a novel written by Frédéric Beigbeder, and was first published in France in 2003. The English translation by Frank Wynne was released on March 30, 2005 by Miramax Books.


XCiTés: the Flamingo Book of New French Writing is an anthology edited by Georgia de Chamberet of French writing in translation which "aims to smash the stereotypes" by a new generation of writers who were unpublished in English at the time of publication (2000). The book includes stories by Frédéric Beigbeder, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Tonino Benacquista, Marie Desplechin, Ilan Duran Cohen, Agnès Desarthe, Virginie Despentes, Guillaume Dustan, Eric Faye, Michel Houellebecq, Mathieu Kassovitz, Mathieu Lindon, Mounsi, Lorette Nobécourt, Vincent Ravalec, Abdourahman Waberi. The INDEPENDENT said of it: "French society is diverse, richly multi-cultural - and the writing in this collection represents some of that diversity. If a writer is clearly wonderful - Abdourahman Waberi (originally from Djibouti) or Mounsi (Algerian) - then we want more. The last three inclusions - scenes from Mathieu Kassovitz's film La Haine, a piece on the house music scene by DJ Tov and an interview with Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly illustrate the point of this kind of new fiction which is to question traditional modes of publishing. The French are tired of their image."


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