Patrick Modiano wins Nobel Prize in literature

The Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to the French author Patrick Modiano on Thursday 9th October by the Nobel Academy "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation". He becomes the 15th French writer to win the prize after Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio in 2008. The award - presented to a living writer - is worth eight million kronor (£691,000).

Modiano, 69, was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, a suburb of Paris, to a businessman father and an actress mother. He studied at Lycee Henri-IV in Paris, where his geometry teacher was Raymond Queneau, a writer who was to prove a major influence.

Much of the author’s work looks at the Vichy regime in occupied France during World War 2. Modiano’s debut novel, La Place de l’Etoile, was published in 1968 but, more than 40 years later, has yet to be translated into English. Many of Modiano’s other works have been translated into English, among them Les boulevards de ceinture (1972 ; Ring Roads : A Novel, 1974), Villa Triste (1975 ; Villa Triste, 1977), Quartier perdu (1984 ; A Trace of Malice, 1988) and Voyage de noces (1990 ; Honeymoon, 1992).

His most recent novel is Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier (2014).

Modiano also worked with film director Louis Malle on the screenplay of Lacombe Lucien (1974), a feature film about a teenage boy during the German occupation of France.

His sixth novel, Missing Person (French title : Rue des boutiques obscures), won the French literary accolade the Prix Goncourt in 1978. Other prizes include Grand prix du roman de l’Academie francaise in 1972 and the 2010 prix mondial Cino Del Duca by the Institut de France for lifetime achievement.

In 2012, he won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. A total 111 individuals have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature between 1901 and 2014. Last year’s winner was Canadian author Alice Munro.

Dernière modification : 12/10/2016

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