Macron bestowed the Legion d'honneur on Houellebecq at a ceremony.
President Emmanuel Macron has awarded the country's top honour to the controversial top-selling French novelist Michel Houellebecq, a scourge of the establishment for his bitter denunciations of modern France.
Macron bestowed the Legion d'honneur on Houellebecq at a ceremony late on Thursday, the Elysee Palace said.
The discreet ceremony was attended by high-ranking guests from the world of publishing and politics, including former president Nicolas Sarkozy, participants said.
Also present was the singer Jean-Louis Aubert, who set Houellebecq's poems to music, and the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut.
Macron hailed Houellebecq, 63, as a "romantic in a material world" and argued that his novels were not pessimistic but full of hope in a society whose pillars, like culture and religion, had become fragile.
Recently married, Houellebecq is arguably France's highest profile novelist at home and abroad but also its most controversial.
His latest novel "Serotonin" -- about a hard-drinking and depressed employee at the agriculture ministry in Paris who discovers the hardship of rural France -- became an instant bestseller after it was published earlier this year.
Critics hailed it as prophetic, saying that the ageing "enfant terrible" had predicted the "yellow vests" protest movement that has shaken the country.
His previous novel "Submission", published in French on the same day that jihadists attacked the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, predicts that France will elect a Muslim president in 2022 and be subject to Sharia law.
The novelist had previously shot to worldwide fame with nihilistic novels depicting misogynistic men trapped in loveless existences and hooked on casual sex.
The presidency had announced on January in its New Year's honours list that Houellebecq would be awarded the Legion d'honnneur.
Neighbourhood bookstores in France survived the television and later the advent of online shopping. Then came the coronavirus lockdown, an eight-week-long hiatus that has weighed heavily on profit margins and threatens the survival of some stores.
Milaw clocked 2hr 07min 05sec, with Kenyan rival Lonyangata coming in third as 49,155 runners took to the streets of the French capital in cold, clear conditions.
Paris Saint-Germain won the French Ligue 1 title for a sixth time in seven seasons on Sunday after second-placed Lille could only draw 0-0 at Toulouse.
Billie Eilish spoke about why she distanced herself from social media, claiming she is "super hated" by some people simply because of her fame and success.
'Chernobyl', HBO's critically acclaimed dramatisation of events surrounding the world's worst nuclear accident, tops the roll-call of nominations announced on Thursday, with 14.
There is massive demand among global audiences for movies that have relatable themes and realistic, flawed characters, says a study.
A First Information Report (FIR) of the incident was registered on March 27 on Uzma's complaint against Riaz's daughters Pashmina Malik and Ambar Malik, Amina Usman Malik (wife of Usman Malik), and 15 unidentified armed men — the private guards with whom the three women had entered the house seen in video clips.