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The Nobel peace prize will be announced tomorrow at 10am BST (11:00 CEST).
Novelist Brandon Taylor jokes that “Perhaps modernity is saved” given Ernaux’s win
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 categorize 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.
Her work is published in the US by Seven Stories Press. Ernaux is one of the seven founding authors from whom the press takes their name.
“We concentrate on literature and literary quality”, not on current affairs, the Swedish Academy has said. But it does feel poignant that an author known for her work about abortion has been selected in the year that the US supreme court overturned Roe v Wade.
Ernaux’s UK publisher Fitzcarraldo is “over the moon” that the long-tipped author has been chosen for this year’s award
Mats Malm, the permanent secretary of the Nobel Committee, said that he had not been able to reach Ernaux yet. He “expects her to become aware of the news soon.”
Read Angelique Chrisafis’s interview with Ernaux from 2019
The Nobel prize in literature 2022 has been awarded to Annie Ernaux
The Nobel for Literature has been turned down twice. Boris Pasternak, after accepting it in 1958, was forced to decline it by the Soviet Union. In 1964, Jean Paul Sartre turned it down because he had consistently declined all official honours.