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French writer Houellebecq finds 'happiness' in third marriage: friend

© dpa/AFP/File | French author Michel Houellebecq has married for the third time

PARIS (AFP) - 

Michel Houellebecq, the enfant terrible of French literature whose descriptions of swingers' clubs, anonymous sex and misogynistic men have made him a global star, has married for the third time in secret, a friend revealed on Sunday.

Singer and former model Carla Bruni posted a black-and-white picture online of Houellebecq, with his traditional shaggy hair but wearing a suit and tie, alongside his wife who appears to be of Asian origin.

"A thousand well-wishes for Lysis and for Michel Houellebecq for their amazing wedding and thank you for letting us share in your happiness," Bruni, who is married to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, wrote on Instagram.

Happiness is rarely associated with Houellebecq, who has battled depression, drinking problems and suicidal thoughts -- experiences which have fed into his often cynical, nihilistic and sex-obsessed characters.

Houellebecq, believed to be aged either 60 or 62, married for the first time in 1980 to the cousin of his best friend and had a son, Etienne, but then divorced and fell into a spiral of joblessness and mental illness.

He married his second wife Marie-Pierre Gauthier in 1998, the same year as the release of his second novel, global hit "Atomised" or "Elementary Particles", a bleak and graphic tale of two self-loathing half-brothers abandoned by their hippie mother.

They divorced in 2010.

© 2018 AFP