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French Writer Annie Ernaux Wins the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature

Current Affairs

  • The Nobel prize in literature has been awarded to French author Annie Ernaux, “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory.”
  • Ernaux, 82, started out writing autobiographical novels, but quickly abandoned fiction in favor of memoirs.
  • Ernaux’s autobiographical books explore deeply personal experiences and feelings—love, sex, abortion, shame—within a changing web of social and class relationships. Much of her material came out of her experiences being raised in a working-class family in the Normandy region of northwest France.
  • Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel literature committee, said Ernaux is “an extremely honest writer who is not afraid to confront the hard truths.”
  • Ernaux is just the 17th woman among the 119 Nobel literature laureates and is the first French literature laureate since Patrick Modiano in 2014. 
  • Her more than 20 books, most of them very short, chronicle events in her life and the lives of those around her. They present uncompromising portraits of sexual encounters, abortion, illness, and the deaths of her parents.

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