This is pretty bizarre:
Michel Houellebecq, the French writer whose novels address sex tourism, sado-masochism and cloning, failed to show up for a scheduled reading tour of the Netherlands and Belgium and cannot be reached by his publishers.
“We really don’t know what is happening,” said Barbara Simons, a spokeswoman for Het Beschrijf, the literary organization that arranged the tour. “It’s bizarre. There has been no news and he hasn’t arrived.”
Simons said neither Houellebecq’s French publisher, nor his agent, nor his translator knows where the 53-year-old writer is. [. . .]
“I wouldn’t panic yet,” [Piet Joostens, who organized the readings] said. “We have no concrete evidence that he is a missing person. Of course we are worried. It has happened before that he doesn’t answer e-mails, but it is rare for him not to show up to meet his public.”
Hopefully this will turn out to be nothing, but in the meantime, I’m going to join in with Jeff Waxman (who emailed me about this) in believing that Houellebecq is living the plot of Metropole.