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Based on a true story by Delphine de Vigan

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

Published by Bloomsbury and translated by George Miller, Based on a True Story by Delphine de Vigan is a prize-winning, sophisticated and chilling novel which continually blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction and will leave you questioning its significance long after you have turned the final page.



All writing is constructed on shifting sands, but I've never read a book that makes the complex relationship between reality and fiction both as visible, and at the same time so opaque, as here. I was captivated. Combining the allure of Gone Girl with the sophistication of literary fiction, Based on a True Story is a creepy but unapologetically clever psychological thriller that also aces the Bechdel test” –  Independent

The book plays on the codes and clichés of both self-absorbed French autofiction and Gone Girl-esque stories of master manipulation, exploring the narrator's tightrope walk on the line between reality and fantasy, friendship and fascination. Written under the auspices of Stephen King, De Vigan's work is also reminiscent of David Koepp's take on Secret Window in its exploration of paranoia and writer's block. Its cinematographic potential has been widely recognised as a film adaptation by Roman Polanski and Oliver Assayas is already planned.


Delphine de Vigan is the author of bestselling D’après une histoire vraie, winner of the Prix Renaudot and Prix Goncourt des lycéens. Her previous novel, Nothing Holds Back the Night won the Prix FNAC and the Grand Prix des Lectrices de ELLE. No and Me (2010) was a bestseller in France and was awarded the Prix des Libraires, translated into twenty languages and adapted into a movie. In Britain it was a Richard & Judy selection and has sold over 70,000 copies. Underground Time was shortlisted for the Goncourt Prize in 2009.

These days, she is touring with singer-songwriter La Grande Sophie. After creating a first show from their combined artistic universes, they wanted to continue this experience, to further explore this hybrid form of creation with a new collaborative performance entitled L'Une et L'Autre.


Delphine de Vigan, rarely seen in the United Kingdom, will come to the Institut Français Sunday 13th May 2017 at the occasion of our brand new French literature festival Beyond Words, to talk about Based on true story and more.


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