French author wins Nobel Prize for Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the French author Patrick Modiano, the award committee announced Thursday.

The author of “Missing Person” received the prize “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies.”

Modiano was born in a west Paris suburb two months after the second world war ended in Europe in July 1945.

His father was of Jewish Italian origins and met his mother during the occupation of Paris and his beginnings have strongly influenced his writing.

Jewishness, the Nazi occupation and loss of identity are recurrent themes in his novels, which include 1968’s La Place de l’Etoile – later hailed in Germany as a key post-Holocaust work.

Modiano owes his first big break to a friendship with a friend of his mother, French writer Raymond Queneau, who first introduced him to the Gallimard publishing house when he was in his early twenties.