Meet Vanessa Salomon, a privileged and misanthropic French-American translator hailing from a wealthy Parisian family. Her twin sister is a famous movie star, which Vanessa resents deeply and daily. The only man Vanessa ever loved recently killed himself by jumping off the roof of her building. It’s a full life.
Vanessa has just started working on an English translation of a titillating, experimental thriller by a dead author when she’s offered a more prominent gig: translating the latest book by an Extremely Famous French Writer who is not in any way based on Michel Houellebecq. As soon as she agrees to meet this writer, however, her other, more obscure project begins to fight back – leading Vanessa down into a literary hell of traps and con games and sadism and doppelgangers and mystic visions and strange assignations and, finally, the secret of life itself.
Peppered with ‘sponsored content’ providing cocktail recipes utilizing a brand of liquor imported by the film director Steven Soderbergh, and with a cameo from the actress Juno Temple, Bad Eminence is at once a sexy, old-school literary satire in the mode of Vladimir Nabokov, as well as a jolly thumb in the eyes of contemporary screen-life and digital celebrity.