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82 Year-Old Annie Ernaux Wins Nobel Prize For Literature

By Chinelo Eze
07 October 2022   |   11:10 am
The 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to French author Annie Ernaux . The Lillebonne, France-born 82-year-old was given the Nobel Prize for her bravery and clinical acumen in exposing the origins, estrangements, and societal limits of individual memory. One of her nation's most recognized authors, Ernaux is known for writing nonfiction and novels…

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to French author Annie Ernaux .

The Lillebonne, France-born 82-year-old was given the Nobel Prize for her bravery and clinical acumen in exposing the origins, estrangements, and societal limits of individual memory.
One of her nation’s most recognized authors, Ernaux is known for writing nonfiction and novels on French daily life. She was one of the favorites to win the award.

The Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, Anders Olsson, commented on her work on the website after the announcement: “She is a remarkable writer and she has reinvented literature in many ways. She has roots in French culture and legacy, which supports and may comfort the wealth of her experiences from childhood and other life stages, and that is something that is extremely significant to her.

“Also, she guides this surge in such a quite new direction and a more social context and that is wonderful. She gives us a scale back of the heritage of the poor and the ambitious people living in the countryside and she does it with such clarity and vividness that is unwavering. It is very strong prose, both brief and uncompromising at the same time.

She continued, “I think that you should start with her La Place in French. It is translated into many languages. It is a short but wonderful portrait of a father. It is very, very sensitive, and concise, it is sometimes a very loving picture. She also recovers the special commendations he deserves and she can also be very critical in her observations and that is special for her.”

The Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, Anders Olsson, commented on her work on the website after the announcement: “She is a remarkable writer and she has reinvented literature in many ways. She has roots in French culture and legacy, which supports and may comfort the wealth of her experiences from childhood and other life stages, and that is something that is extremely significant to her.

She described her experience having a risky backstreet abortion in 1963, when the operation was forbidden in France, in her book Happening.
“There were thousands who had been through secret abortions, I wanted to recreate the truth of it exactly as it was in the moment, ridding myself of any knowledge of the fight for women’s rights that would follow,” the author told The Guardian (United Kingdom) in 2019. “Because in 1963, 1964 when it happened to me, it was unthinkable to imagine abortion would one day be authorised, doctors wouldn’t even say the word.”

Ernaux was the first French author to receive the Nobel Prize since Patrick Modiano did it in 2014, and as of this writing, she is the 16th author from France to have done so.

Les armoires vides, first published in 1974 in France as Cleaned Out and then in English as Cleaned Out, was the first book written by the professor of literature at the Centre National d’Enseignement par Correspondance.

Ernaux is the author of more than 20 books, but La place or A Man’s Place, her fourth work, is widely regarded as her literary breakthrough.
aux has won no less than 13 accolades, including the Prix Renaudot in 2008 for her autobiography The Years, which was translated into English by Alison Strayer and was nominated for the Man Booker International Award in 2019.

She was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for The Years and her book Una Donna received the Premio Gregor von Rezzori in 2019.