French writer Annie Ernaux receives the Nobel Prize in Literature

French author Annie Ernaux received this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature for “the courage and clinical acuity with which she exposes the roots, alienations and collective limitations of personal memory,” the Swedish Academy said on Thursday.

The 82-year-old began writing autobiographical novels but quickly abandoned fiction in favor of memoirs.

Her more than 20 books, most of them very short, chronicle events in her life and the lives of those around her. They show uncompromising portraits of sexual encounters, abortion, illness and the death of their parents.

Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee on Literature, said Ernaux’s work was often “uncompromisingly written in clear language, scratched clean”.

“She has achieved something admirable and enduring,” he told reporters after the announcement in Stockholm, Sweden.

Ernaux describes her style as “Ecriture Plate”, a highly objective view of the events she is describing, free from flowery descriptions or overwhelming emotions.

In her book La Place (A Man’s Place), she writes of her relationship with her father: “No lyrical reminiscences, no triumphant display of irony. This neutral style of writing comes naturally to me.”

Her most critically acclaimed book was The Years (Les Annees), published in 2008, which chronicled herself and French society in general from the end of World War II to the present day.

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Unlike previous books, Ernaux writes about herself in the third person in The Years, calling her character “she” instead of “I.” The book received numerous awards and honors.

Last year’s award went to Tanzanian-born, UK-based writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, whose novels examine the impact of migration on individuals and societies.

Gurnah was only the sixth Nobel Laureate in Literature to be born in Africa, and the prize has long been criticized for focusing too much on European and North American writers. With only 16 women among the 118 winners, it is also dominated by men.

The awards to Gurnah in 2021 and to US poet Louise Gluck in 2020 helped the literary prize emerge from years of controversy and scandal.

In 2018, the award was postponed after allegations of sexual abuse rocked the Swedish Academy, which appoints the Nobel Literature Committee, and prompted an exodus of members.

The academy has redesigned itself, but has faced more criticism for awarding the 2019 literary prize to Austrian Peter Handke, who has been described as an apologist for Serbian war crimes. French writer Annie Ernaux receives the Nobel Prize in Literature

Fry Electronics Team

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