French writer Annie Ernaux won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced here on Thursday, "for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory."
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In her writing, Ernaux consistently and from different angles, examines a life marked by strong disparities regarding gender, language and class. Her path to authorship was long and arduous, the Swedish Academy said.
Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, said at the announcement press conference that he was not able to reach Ernaux by phone today, unfortunately. He added that this year's prize would be presented in Stockholm in December.
Ernaux's work is "uncompromising and written in plain language, scraped clean," and when she reveals "the agony of the experience of class, describing shame, humiliation, jealousy or inability to see who you are, she has achieved something admirable and enduring," the Academy said.
Ernaux was born in 1940 and grew up in the small town of Yvetot in Normandy, France. She is one of the most influential female writers in contemporary French literary circles. Her major works include The Years, A Woman's Story, and The Place.
"Her most critically acclaimed book is The Years, published in 2008. She describes herself and wider French society from the end of World War II to the present day," Le Monde recalled.
"Unlike in previous books, in The Years, Ms. Ernaux writes about herself in the third person, calling her character "she" rather than "I." The book received numerous awards and honors," it added.