French novelist Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize in literature Thursday, which was announced in Stockholm at the Swedish Academy. The prize awards a writer for a collective body of work, not just one piece in particular. The 69-year-old has roughly 30 pieces of published work, most of which are moody, dark and suspenseful. His most famous book is the novel "Missing Person," which is about a detective with amnesia.
When asked what makes Modiano's work so unique, Dervila Cooke, who is a professor at Dublin City University and has written a biography about Modiano tells us, "Modiano encourages his readers to question the nature of memory and narration, both on a personal level and in relation to France’s dark years during the Second World War: how much of memory is really imagined, what barriers exist to accessing and expressing remembered events, and how can telling a story ever really resolve anything?" It's asking these deep questions through his work for which he was awarded.
Modiano famously avoids the media and interviews, but the New York Times reports that when his publisher called him to tell him the good news, Modiano said he was very happy but was also surprised and said it was bizarre. As part of the prize, Modiano is the recipient of $1.1 million.
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