Nobel Prize Literature 2014
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2014 has been awarded to the French author, Patrick Modiano, “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”.
The last time a French author won a Nobel for Literature was in 2008 when Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won.
Modiano has also been the recipient of other awards including 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.
Modiano was born on July 30, 1945 in a suburb of Paris. He studied at the Lycée Henri-IV in Paris. His private geometry coach, Raymond Queneau, was also a writer and had a significant influence on Modiano’s career. His writings are in French, though some have been translated into English and other languages.
He made his writing debut in 1968 with La place de l’étoile. His first work was widely discussed and well known but it hasn’t been translated into English. Most of his work centres around ambiguous themes such as memory, oblivion, identity and guilt. His stories also tend to be of an autobiographical nature and draw upon his city and its history. Some of Modiano’s 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 latest work is the novel Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier.
Other than an author of novels, Modiano has also written children’s novels and movie scripts.