French author Patrick Modiano has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation." Modiano, 69, made his literary debut in 1968, with the novel La place de l’étoile, and went on to write more than 25 novels, in addition to several screenplays. Modiano will receive an award of 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million), and with today's announcement, becomes the 11th French author to win the prize for literature.
Memory is a recurrent theme throughout Modiano's works, as is the city of Paris, where he grew up and currently resides. Much of his writing is of an autobiographical nature, and some of the same characters and storylines are woven throughout his novels. Other works are set within the German occupation of France during World War II, including Dora Bruder and the film Lacombe Lucien, which he made together with French director Louis Malle in 1974.
Modiano isn't a household name outside of France, though several of his books have been translated into English, including Honeymoon, Ring Roads: A Novel, and Villa Triste. His latest book, Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier, was published this year.