Congratulations to French author Patrick Modiano, 69, described by the Swedish Academy as a ‘Marcel Proust of our time’ – who has beaten favourites Haruki Murakami and Ngugi wa Thiong’o to win the Nobel Prize in Literature worth £636,000.
With 30 books under his belt, he has won the accolade “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”, according to the Swedish Academy. Peter Englund, the Academy’s permanent secretary, said: “He is a well-known name in France but pretty well not anywhere else. They are small books 130, 150 pages, which are always variations of the same theme: memory, loss, identity, seeking. Those are his important themes.”
Born in Paris two months after the Second World War, his acclaimed debut novel in 1968 was ‘La place de l’etoile’. Many of his books deal with the war and the effects of German occupation, others draw on his own life. He has written books for children and collaborated on the script for Lacombe Lucien with film director Louis Malle.
His works include ‘Missing Person’, ‘A Trace of Malice’ and ‘Honeymoon’. His latest novel is ‘Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier’.