Books: marie darrieussecq

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The Independent Culture
Pig Tales, the story of a woman's transmogrification into a pig, by Marie Darrieussecq (left), has sold nearly 450,000 copies, making it the most popular new French novel in 40 years. Astonishingly, it was her debut novel. Her second, My Phantom Husband, was published last year in France and shot straight to number one in the bestsellers' list. Non-Francophones here have had to wait for Helen Stevenson's translation, published this week. It examines the nature of love, evasions and absence - what would you think if your husband of seven years completely vanished one morning, without warning or explanation?

Marie Darrieussecq is in conversation at the Institut francais on Tue (6 Jul), 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 (0171-838 2144) at 6.30pm

Diona Gregory