French author, Patrick Modiano, wins Nobel Literature prize

By The Citizen

French historical author Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize for literature.

The Nobel Academy described the novelist, whose work has often focused on the Nazi occupation of France, as 'a Marcel Proust of our time'.

The award - presented to a living writer - is worth eight million kronor (£691,000).

Previous winners include literary giants such as Rudyard Kipling, Toni Morrison and Ernest Hemingway.

The academy said the award was 'for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation'.

'This is someone who has written many books that echo off each other… that are about memory, identity and aspiration,' Peter Englund, the academy's permanent secretary said.

Patrick Modiano, 69, was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, a suburb of Paris, to a businessman father and an actress mother.

He studied at Lycee Henri-IV in Paris, where his geometry teacher was Raymond Queneau, a writer who was to prove a major influence.

His debut novel La Place de l'Etoile was published in 1968.

His sixth novel, Missing Person (French title: Rue des boutiques obscures), won the French literary accolade the Prix Goncourt in 1978.

Other prizes include 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, who lives in Paris, rarely give interviews. The Nobel Academy said it had been unable to tell Modiano the news before the announcement.

A total 111 individuals have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature between 1901 and 2014.

Last year's winner was Canadian author Alice Munro. BBC