The French novelist Annie Ernaux in 2020. Isabelle Eshraghi for The New York Times

The Nobel prize in literature was awarded to Annie Ernaux, the French novelist whose intensely personal books have spoken to generations of women by highlighting incidents from her own life.

Iran PressEurope: The French novelist grew up in Normandy to working-class parents. She is known for her most autobiographical work, such as A Woman’s Story and A Man’s Place. She started her literary career in 1974, and her work is so rooted in the fact that some English-speaking critics and publishers have been tempted to categorize it as a 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 its name.

Mats Malm, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which decides the prize, announced the decision at a news conference in Stockholm, lauding the “courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory.”


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