Reuters photo from Buzzfeed
Confession: We’ve never read Patrick Modiano. Or heard of him.
Good thing we didn’t put money on the bookies’ perennial favorite Haruki Murakami.
Another year, another non-win for Philip Roth.
From the Guardian:
Patrick Modiano has been named the 107th winner of the Nobel prize for literature.
The 69-year-old is the 11th French writer to win the prestigious prize, worth 8m kronor ($1.1m or £700,000).
His name was announced at a short ceremony in Stockholm with Peter Englund, the Nobel Academy’s permanent secretary, reading a citation which said Modiano won “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”.
Modiano is well known in France but something of an unknown quantity for even widely read people in other countries. His best known novel is probably Missing Person, which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 and is about a detective who loses his memory and endeavours to find it.
Key books, chosen by Rupert Thomson
1. La Place de l’Etoile, 1968
This semi-autobiographical first novel made an immediate impact with its story of the repercussions of anti-semitism in France in the second world war.
2. Rue des boutiques obscures (Missing Person) 1978
An existential tale about a detective who has lost his memory, which won Modiano the Prix Goncourt.
3. Voyage des Noces (The Honeymoon) 1990
Novel filling in the gaps left by the disappearance of Dora Bruder (see below)
4. Dora Bruder, 1997
Research, speculation and imagination combine in the story of a Jewish girl who went missing during the Occupation of France.
5. Un Pedigree (A Pedigree), 2005
The story of Modiano’s own life up until his 21st year.
And a Nobel Prize judge says, Creative writing courses are killing western literature.