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Home News French writer Houellebecq returns from tax exile

French writer Houellebecq returns from tax exile

Published on 16/12/2012

Top French writer Michel Houellebecq said Sunday he had returned to France after years of living as a tax exile in Ireland.

Houellebecq, who won France’s top literary prize in 2010, told AFP he had decided to return to France, despite a new tax on top earners that is driving some, including actor Gerard Depardieu, to leave the country.

“Let’s say that money is important, but it’s not the most important thing,” he said in a email.

“The main reason is that I wanted to again speak my language in my daily life,” said Houellebecq, 56, who had been living near Shannon in western Ireland.

Depardieu said on Sunday he was giving up his French passport after coming under fire from officials for taking up residence in Belgium, as President Francois Hollande’s Socialists impose a 75 percent tax rate on incomes above one million euros ($1.3 million).

Houellebecq, who won the Goncourt Prize for his best-selling satire “The Map and the Territory”, rose to prominence in the 1990s with “Les Particules Elementaires”, which was translated into English as “Atomised” and won widespread acclaim.