The Map and the Territory

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

The Map and the Territory

Artists Solving Mysteries

cover image for The Map and the TerritoryPart murder mystery, part art market indictment, The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq (pronounced wellbeck), chronicles the lives of artist Jed Martin; Michel Houellbecq, a retiring, alcoholic writer; and Detective Jasselin.

lives a somewhat bohemian life in Paris, and is on the verge of an exhibition for which Houellbecq is to write the exhibition catalog essay. After Jed's stratospheric rise on the art market, he must help the police solve a brutal murder.

The Map and the Territory won the 2010 Prix Goncourt, an annual prize honoring the best prose work in French Literature.

Michel Houellbecq, the real one, is something of a controversial author, having written The Elementary Particles, The Possibility of an Island, and Platform, the latter of which earned him a court trial and subsequent flight from France. Tres dramatique!