Magazine article World Literature Today

Bye Bye Blondie

Magazine article World Literature Today

Bye Bye Blondie

Article excerpt

Virginie Despentes. Bye Bye Blondie. Trans. Siân Reynolds. New York. The Feminist Press. 2016. 248 pages.

An aging punk named Gloria comes face to face with her own past in Virginie Despentes's latest novel, Bye Bye Blondie, but her destructive romance fails to transcend the indulgent self-destruction and arrested development that defines the main antiheroine.

Gloria has just been kicked out of her latest boyfriend's house after another signature outburst when she bumps into Eric, a television star who happens to have been her teenage boyfriend. After meeting in a psychiatric ward, Eric and Gloria were darlings of Nancy, France's punk scene in the 1980s; one of their earliest "dates" included fleeing from the police after a bar fight with skinheads. But in the wake of their relationship's catastrophic end, the two splintered until fate brought them back together twenty years later. While Eric found fame and fortune, Gloria still looks back on the glory days of their young love-an idyll she wants to capture in a screenplay as the two struggle to find a new foundation for their rekindled relationship. …

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