The Swedish Academy announced on Thursday that French novelist Annie Ernaux had won this year’s Nobel Prize in literature for “the boldness and clinical clarity with which she reveals the roots, estrangements, and collective restrictions of human memory.”
Ernaux, 82, began writing autobiographical novels but soon switched to writing memoirs.She has written over 20 novels, the majority of which are relatively short accounts of the events in her life and the lives of others around her. Uncompromising depictions of sexual encounters, abortion, illness, and her parents’ deaths are shown. Ernaux’s writing was frequently uncompromising and written in straightforward, scraped-clean English, according to Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for literature.
After the announcement in Stockholm, Sweden, he told reporters that she had accomplished something respectable and lasting.Ernaux calls her writing style “flat writing” (ecriture plate), a view of the events she is recounting that is very objective and uninformed by florid description or strong emotions.
La Place (A Man’s Place), the novel that made her famous, describes her connection with her father as follows: No lyrical reminiscences, no victorious displays of irony. I naturally write in this objective manner. The Years (Les annees), released in 2008 and chronicling herself and larger French society from the conclusion of World War II to the present, was her most critically lauded work.
In contrast to her previous works, Ernaux writes about herself in the third person in The Years, referring to her character as she rather than I. The book won various accolades and prizes.Gurnah was only the sixth Nobel laureate in literature to be born in Africa, and it has long been argued that the award places too much emphasis on authors from Europe and North America. There are only 16 women among the 118 laureates, making it a largely male organisation.
The awards to US poet Louise Gluck in 2020 and Gurnah in 2021 helped the literature prize move past years of controversy and scandal.After sex abuse claims shook the Swedish Academy, which appoints the Nobel literature committee, and caused a member exodus, the award was postponed in 2018. After making changes, the academy came under fresh fire for awarding the 2019 literature prize to Austria’s Peter Handke, who has been dubbed an apologist for Serbian war crimes.
Svante Paabo, a Swedish scientist, was given the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday, kicking off a week of award announcements, for discovering Neanderthal DNA’s hidden information that was crucial for understanding our immune system.
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