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French Author Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Literature Prize

  • VOA News

French novelist Patrick Modiano is seen in an undated photo provided by publisher Gallimard.

French novelist Patrick Modiano is seen in an undated photo provided by publisher Gallimard.

French novelist Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature for his lifelong exploration of the Nazi occupation and its effect on his country.

In Stockholm, the Swedish Academy said Thursday it awarded the $1.1 million prize to the 69-year-old Modiano "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies" while uncovering life under German control.

Modiano was born in a Paris suburb in July 1945, two months after World War Two ended in Europe. His father was of Jewish-Italian heritage and had met his Belgian actress mother during the occupation of Paris.

A man holds a book by French author Patrick Modiano at a book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, Oct. 9, 2014.

A man holds a book by French author Patrick Modiano at a book fair in Frankfurt, Germany, Oct. 9, 2014.

Jewishness, the Nazi occupation and the loss of identity were recurring themes in his novels. One of his works, 1968's "La Place de l'Etoile," was heralded in Germany as an important piece of post-Holocaust literature.

Some of his works have been translated into English, including the novels "A Trace of Malice," "Honeymoon" and "Missing Person."

Modiano becomes the 107th Literature Laureate, and the 11th winner from France. He joins the ranks of other popular writers such as John Steinbeck, William Faulkner and Pablo Neruda.

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