The wait is over. No, Philip Roth didn’t win it (a shame), and Murakami didn’t win it (thank Jesus); the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature goes to the Frenchman Patrick Modiano.
Here is some of the coverage:
From the New York Times: “In a news conference after the announcement, Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, called Mr. Modiano, “a Marcel Proust of our time,” noting that his works resonate with one another thematically and are “always variations of the same thing, about memory, about loss, about identity, about seeking.””
The Guardian: “Modiano is well known in France but something of an unknown quantity for even widely read people in other countries. His best known novel is probably Missing Person, which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 and is about a detective who loses his memory and endeavours to find it.
The writer was born in a west Paris suburb two months after the second world war ended in Europe in July 1945.
His father was of Jewish Italian origins and met his Belgian actor mother during the occupation of Paris, and Modiano’s beginnings have strongly influenced his writing.
Jewishness, the Nazi occupation and loss of identity are recurrent themes in his novels, which include 1968’s La Place de l’Etoile – later hailed in Germany as a key post-Holocaust work.”
The Washington Post: ““His books are always variations of the same theme,” Englund said, “about memory, about loss, about identity, about seeking. I don’t think he’s difficult to read. You can read him easily, one of his books in the afternoon, have dinner, and read another in the evening.”
“Missing Person” is published in the United States by a small indie press owned by David R. Godine. This morning, Godine missed the Nobel announcement because he was in Dublin, N.H., staking his dahlias in the garden. Reached by phone, he exclaimed, “This means we’ll be ahead this year!””