French novelist Patrick Modiano wins Nobel prize for Literature 2014

French novelist Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize for literature it has just been announced in Sweden. Modiano, the author of Missing Person and Lacombe Lucien which was made into a film Overnight, he had surged into position as favourite beating former top runners such as Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Japanese author Haruki Murakami, Belarusian investigative journalist and author Svetlana Alexievich, and Syrian poet Adonis. Previous winners of the prize are:

2013: Alice Munro, Canada; 2012: Mo Yan, China; 2011: Tomas Transtromer, Sweden; 2010: Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru; 2009: Herta Mueller, Germany; 2008: Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, France; 2007: Doris Lessing, Britain; 2006: Orhan Pamuk, Turkey; 2005: Harold Pinter, Britain; 2004: Elfriede Jelinek, Austria; 2003: J.M. Coetzee, South Africa; 2002: Imre Kertesz, Hungary; 2001: V.S. Naipaul, Trinidad-born Briton; 2000: Gao Xingjian, Chinese-born French; 1999: Guenter Grass, Germany; 1998: Jose Saramago, Portugal; 1997: Dario Fo, Italy; 1996: Wislawa Szymborska, Poland; 1995: Seamus Heaney, Ireland; 1994: Kenzaburo Oe, Japan; 1993: Toni Morrison, United States; 1992: Derek Walcott, St. Lucia; 1991: Nadine Gordimer, South Africa; 1990: Octavio Paz, Mexico; 1989: Camilo Jose Cela, Spain; 1988: Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt; 1987: Joseph Brodsky, Russian-born American; 1986: Wole Soyinka, Nigeria; 1985: Claude Simon, France; 1984: Jaroslav Seifert, Czechoslovakia; 1983: William Golding, Britain; 1982: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia; 1981: Elias Canetti, Bulgarian-born Briton; 1980: Czeslaw Milosz, Polish-born American.


  1. Yes, but it doesn’t seem to dampen his enthusiasm, nor that of his fans. The Nobel prize decision always seems the most baffling but it does have the advantage of introducing some authors who are obviously highly respected in their own country or region but don’t seem to get a lot of recognition elsewhere. Could this be the translation trap?


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