Christine Angot is a French novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, who is best known for her 1999 novel ‘L’Inceste’ (Incest). A prolific and controversial writer, her novels focus on a variety of taboo topics, including homosexuality, incest, and sexual violence, and are presented in such a way that they obscure the line between autobiography and fiction.
Christine Angot was born as Pierrette Marie-Clotilde Schwartz Anagrama on Saturday, February 7, 1959 (age 63 years; as of 2022), in Châteauroux, France. Angot spent her childhood with her mother, Rachel Schwartz, and her grandmother, in absence of her father until the age of 13. In Reims, she attended a private high school for girls. Raped by her father between the age of 13 to 16, she had a traumatized childhood.
After her baccalaureate, she began studying Law. DailyMail Thereafter, She obtained Diplôme d’études approfondies (diploma of advanced studies (DEA)) in international law in Reims, France. Thereafter, she secured a scholarship to study international law in Bruges, but she quit her studies to pursue her passion for writing. Le Matricule des anges After having lived in Montpellier and Nice, Christine Angot started residing in Paris.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Black
Parents & Siblings
Christine’s mother, Rachel Schwartz, and father, Pierre Angot, met in Châteauroux. At that time, Rachel had been working in the Social Security System in France for several years, meanwhile, Pierre Angot was working as a translator at the American airbase of Châteauroux-Déols. Earlier, Rachel was a typist, and Pierre Angot was in the military. Although Pierre warned Rachel that he will not marry her, they decided to have a child, Christine, out of wedlock. According to one of her novels, after an irregular epistolary relationship for years, Pierre Angot appeared in Christine’s life when she was thirteen and officially recognized her as one of his own. Christine Angot has a half-sister named Louise and a half-brother named Philippe, from her father’s marriage.
An incestuous relationship with her father
Christine Angot extensively talked about being raped by her father from age 13 to 16 in her four fictionalized autobiographies, L’Inceste, Une semaine de vacances, Un amour impossible, and Le Voyage dans l’Est. The abuse started shortly after Christine met her father during a trip to the East of France with her mother, where he lived. From age 16 to 26, she cut ties with her father. In the novel ‘Le Voyage dans l’Est,’ she revealed that at the age of 26, she contacted her father again and tried to have a real father-daughter relationship. Instead, she began a sexual relationship with him that lasted a few months, before permanently parting ways with him at the age of 28. In the novel, she also revealed that people close to her and to her father, like her ex-husband, half-sister, and even her mother, knew about their sexual relationship. Later Angot’s father developed Alzheimer’s disease, and he died in 1999, the same year Christine published the novel ‘L’Inceste.’ DailyMail Yet on numerous occasions, Christine has denied the novel being an autobiography. In an interview, she said,
It is neither testimony, nor autobiography, nor autofiction. It’s not a novel in the conventional sense, it’s a bit of all that and none of that.”
Husband & Children
At 23, she got married to Claude Chastagner. Together, they had a daughter, Léonore Chastagner; Léonore Chastagner is a visual artist.
At 16, shortly after the end of her physical relationship with her father, Angot started dating a man named Marc, who was one of her mother’s coworkers and was 31. Later, she had many boyfriends, including the one whom she dated for four years, and Claude Chastagner, whom she married at 23. For a few months, Christine Angot dated the French hip hop musician Doc Gynéco, who is fifteen years younger than Christine. The two made acquaintance at a literary fair. She spoke openly about their story in her book ‘Le Marché des Amants’ (2008).
Later, she got into a relationship with Martinican musician Charly Clovis, one of Doc Gyneco’s best friends. Christine Angot wrote about her relationship with Charly Clovis in the novels Le Marché des amants (2008) and Les Petits (2013).
After studying law, Christine Angot began to write in 1983. In 1990, she began her career as a novelist with ‘Vu du ciel,’ published by Éditions Gallimard.
Her 1994 novel ‘Léonore, toujours’ was designed like a diary of a mother who has just given birth to a baby girl. The novel showcased an ambiguity of maternal feelings, between violence and love, towards her child.
In 2004, her novel ‘Les Désaxés’ was published by Stock. The novel narrates the story of the separation of a filmmaker couple, Sylvie and François, who are married and have two children. In the novel, Sylvie is manic-depressive, and François is also depressed and no longer has any inspiration to write screenplays.
In the same year, she penned another novel ‘Une partie du cœur.’ Christine Angot rose to prominence with the 1999 autofiction novel ‘L’Inceste,’ which caused a stir in society. The novel was published by Stock. In the novel, the protagonist, Christine, talks about her past homosexual affair and the incestuous relationship she had with her father. The critically acclaimed book was translated into English by American translator and writer Tess Lewis in 2017.
In 2006, she penned another popular novel titled ‘Rendez-vous.’ Thirteen years after ‘L’Inceste,’ Christine Angot returned to the incest theme with the 2012 novel ‘Une semaine de vacances,’ published by Groupe Flammarion. The novel narrates the story of a week’s vacation during which an incestuous relationship begins between a father and his daughter. The immensely popular book led Angot to win the Prix Sade (2012). The author rejected the award saying,
The image of this award, whether or not it corresponds to the work of the Marquis de Sade, which is in total contradiction with the book I have written.”
In her 2015 novel ‘Un amour impossible,’ Christine introduced her parents as the protagonist of the novel. In the novel, Pierre Angot, a sophisticated Parisian, who doesn’t even think about marriage, develops a relationship with a modest Jewish girl named Rachel Schwartz and sires a daughter. Based on the best-selling novel of 2015 ‘Un amour impossible,’ a French drama film of the same name was released in 2018.
In 2021, she again addressed her incestuous relationship in the novel ‘Le Voyage dans l’Est.’ Other popular novels published by her include Interview (1995), Pourquoi Le Bresil (2002), and Un tournant de la vie (2018).
In 1992, she made her debut as a playwright with ‘Corps plongés dans un liquide.’ The play narrates interweaving stories of Simone and her son, a snorkeling fisherman, and that of Catherine and Mado, two half-sisters. Her 1997 play ‘L’Usage de la vie’ is a monologue.
In 2001, she provided her assistance in writing and directing the television documentary series ‘L’érotisme vu par…,’ which revolved around erotic activities among aging bodies and minds. She has co-written Claire Denis’s film, Let the Sunshine (Un beau soleil intérieur) (2017).
She worked as a screenplay writer for the 2022 French romantic drama film ‘Fire.’ The film showcased a love triangle story of a woman caught between two men, one her long-time partner and another his best friend, who is also her former lover.
Angot is also the literary director for the French publisher Stock. She frequently performs public readings of her texts, especially on stage. In 2016, she became editor-in-chief of the Libé, a writers’ supplement of the newspaper Libération. From September 2017 to June 2019, she worked as a columnist for the TV show ‘On n’est pas couché,’ a program presented by Laurent Ruquier and telecast on France 2.
Sued for invasion of the private life of Elise Bidoit
Following the publication of ‘Marché des amants’ (2008), Christine Angot was obliged to compensate €10,000 to Elise Bidoit for the invasion of the intimacy of her private life. Elise Bidoit is the ex-wife of Charly Clovis, who later came into a romantic relationship with Christine Angot. In 2013, Angot was again sued by Elise Bidoit for the same reason. Bidoit claimed to be the real-life inspiration for the main character of Angot’s 2013 novel ‘Les Petits’ (The Little Ones). Bidoit had four of her five children with her ex-partner Charly Clovis. The novel said that the eldest daughter of the character modeled on Élise Bidoit, who was born out of her first marriage, was sexually assaulted by her father, which according to the Bidoit never happened. Thereafter, Angot had to pay €40,000 damages to Elise Bidoit. The Telegraph
In 2019, Christine Angot filed a complaint before the TGI of Vannes for racial insults and aggravated death threats after the discovery of anti-Semitic tags against her in different parts of the city during the festival Les Émancipéés. On the walls of the Maison des Arts, where she was invited to give a reading of her texts, street art artists wrote threatening and abusive comments about the novelist. Libération One of those comments read,
All together on March 23 to lynch Christine Angot.”
Another comment read,
Christine Angot alias Pierrette Schwartz you’ll take acid in the face on March 23rd. Dirty Jewish nigga whore.”
Indicted for defamation
On April 2, 2016, the publisher Christophe Lucquin filed a complaint against Christine Angot and Laurent Joffrin, the editor of the newspaper Libération, for public defamation. Previously, Angot had accused Lucquin of “publishing texts of an essentially pedophile nature” in a column of Libération. Culture The Paris Court of Appeal ruled that Angot had publicly defamed Lucquin. Thereafter, Angot and Joffrin were directed to pay Lucquin the sum of 8,500 euros.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- L’ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters) (2013) by the Ministère de la Culture (France)
- Prix France Culture (2015) for the novels Les Désaxés (2004) and Une partie du cœur (2004)
- Prix de Flore (2006) for the novel Rendez-vous
- Prix Sade (2012) for the novel Une semaine de vacances (rejected by the author)
- Prix Décembre (2015) for the novel Un amour impossible
- Prix Médicis (2021) for Le Voyage dans l’Est
- Soon after her marriage, she began suffering from insomnia and developed an eating disorder. The lack of sleep caused her to give up on her studies, and she began seeing a psychotherapist.
- Angot’s father was fluent in thirty languages.
- According to the French literary journal ‘La Règle du jeu,’ she was named Christine Schwartz after her birth. Later, when her father legitimized her through the law on filiation, she took her father’s last name. La Règle du jeu
- Her fourth novel, Interview, was refused by numerous publishers until Jean-Marc Roberts agreed to publish the novel with the French publishing house Fayard in 1995.
- In 2020, she tried to contact her half-brother, Philippe, via an open letter published by France Inter. According to the letter, she met him when she was 28 and he was 22, after which they lost touch.