Michel Houellebecq is a French novelist, poet, and literary critic. His novels include the international bestseller Submission, The Elementary Particles, and The Map and the Territory, which won the 2010 Prix Goncourt. He lives in France. Gavin Bowd is a writer and translator who has worked with Houellebecq on a number of books. He is a senior lecturer and head of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.