French Author Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

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Patrick Modiano

The novelist also co-wrote the screenplay for Oscar-nominated 'Lacombe, Lucien'

French novelist Patrick Modiano has won the Nobel Prize in literature for his body of work, which focuses on the Nazi occupation of France and the lingering effects of the war on the country, the Swedish Academy said Thursday.

The Nobel organization’s permanent secretary Peter Englund called him the "Marcel Proust of our time," in his speech to reporters. "This is someone who has written many books that echo off each other ... that are about memory, identity and aspiration," he said.

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The author also co-wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-nominated Lacombe, Lucien, which also focused on the French collaboration with the Nazis. The Louis Malle-directed drama took home the BAFTA best film prize in 1975.
 
Modiano's more than 30 novels have often explored the occupation. His 1978 novel Missing Person, which tells the story of a detective trying to piece together his own memory of life under the Nazis, won the prestigious Prix Goncourt that year. His 1968 novel La Place de l'Etoile was also hailed as an influential work about the Holocaust.
 
In 2012, he won the Austrian Prize for European Literature.
 
The awards will be presented on Dec. 10 in Stockholm, Sweden.

 

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