On Jan. 7, the day “Submission” came out in France, the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo ran a caricature of the author on its cover. Bleary-eyed and sporting a wizard’s hat, the novelist was portrayed as a lugubrious prophet spouting asides like “In 2015 I’ll lose my teeth” or, more pointedly, “In 2022 I’ll observe Ramadan.”
On the same day two gunmen of the Islamic faith attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people. Mr. Houellebecq, who lost a friend—the economist Bernard Maris—in the attack, has been under round-the-clock police protection since.
Marine Le Pen set to face trial for inciting racial hatred after she compared Muslims who pray in the streets to Nazis