Virginie Despentes (French: [depɑ̃t]; born 13 June 1969) is a French writer, novelist, and filmmaker. Her work is an inventory of youth marginalization; it participates to the sexual revolution lived by Generation X and to the acclimation of pornography in public spaces through new communication techniques. With a transgressive exploration of obscenity's limits, as a novelist or a film-maker she proposes social critique and an antidote to the new moral order. Her characters deal with misery and injustice, self-violence such as drug addiction, or violence towards others such rape or terrorism, violences she also had suffered from. She is one of the most popular French authors from this era.
Despentes settled in Lyon, where she worked as a maid, a prostitute in "massage parlors" and peep shows, a sales clerk in a record store, and a freelance rock journalist and pornographic film critic.
From 2004 to 2005, she wrote a blog that documented her daily life. Around this time she began identifying as a lesbian and started to date Spanish philosopher Paul B. Preciado before he transitioned to male.
In 2005, she wrote three songs for the album Va chercher la police for the group A.S. Dragon.
In 2006, she published a non-fiction work, King Kong Theory. It recounts her experiences in the French sex industry, and the infamy and praise she experienced for writing Baise-Moi.
In 2009 she directed her first documentary, Mutantes (Féminisme Porno Punk), which was broadcast on TV Pink.
In 2010, her novel Apocalypse bébé was awarded the Renaudot prize.