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French Author Le Clézio Wins Nobel Prize

Acclaimed French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio has won this year's Nobel prize for literature. Lisa Bryant has more on the winner and his writing for VOA from Paris.

The selection of Jean-Marie Le Clezio as this year's Nobel literature laureate was not entirely a surprise. The French writer, 68, figured among a short list of authors widely speculated as having a good chance at clinching the award.

In announcing the Nobel, the Swedish academy praised Le Clezio for what it described as his "poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy" - singling out one of his works in particular, the 1980 novel, Desert. That book previously won a prize from the French Academy.

In an interview on France-Inter radio shortly before the announcement, Le Clezio acknowledged he would not be overly surprised if he won this year's Nobel.

The French author described winning the Nobel as an affirmation of writing.

"Writers write to be read," he said, "to get a response - this is a response."

Le Clezio, who lived in Nigeria as a child, is an avid traveller who sets his novels in a variety of locations. His subject matter is equally wide ranging and he is among the most known French writers outside his country.

Asked what he might write in his acceptance speech, Le Clezio said he might dwell on the problems of young writers getting published - and of foreign writers getting published in countries with large literary markets.