Nobel Prize in Literature: French author Annie Ernaux wins Nobel Prize for literature

The announcement of the Nobel Prize for literature was made Thursday morning in Stockholm as part of the week-long series of announcements from the committee, The Associated Press reported.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to French author Annie Ernaux. On Thursday (Oct. 6), the prestigious award went to the unconventional memoirist “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory.”

Who is Annie Ernaux? The French novelist grew up in Normandy to working class parents. She is known for her mostly autobiographical work, such as A Woman’s Story, A Man’s Place, and Simple Passion. She started her literary career in 1974, and her work is so rooted in fact that some English-speaking critics and publishers have been tempted to categorise it as memoir. Ernaux herself has always been adamant that she writes fiction, however. Many of her works have been translated into English, and she was nominated for the International Booker prize in 2019 for her book The Years.

Ernaux cared for children at a summer camp at the age of 18 and eventually became an au pair in London in 1960, where at one point she started writing her first, unpublished novel. She eventually married and had two sons and became a secondary school teacher.