Annie Erno wins the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature | Wrote

The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Annie Erno “for the courage and clinical accuracy with which she explored the roots, the remoteness, and the collective limitations of personal memory”.

Ernault, who writes novels about daily life in France as well as non-fiction, and is one of the most famous authors in her country, was among the nominees for the prize. Noble said they haven’t yet been able to reach her by phone, but they expect to be able to talk to her soon.

Ernault is the first French writer to win a Nobel Prize since Patrick Modiano in 2014. She became the 16th French writer to win a Nobel Prize so far.

Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel Committee, said that in her work “Erno constantly and from different angles examines a life marked by extreme disparities in terms of gender, language and class.”

Erno was born in 1940 and raised in the small town of Yvétotte in Normandy. She studied at the University of Rouen, and later studied in high school. From 1977 to 2000, she was a professor at the National Center for Enrollment in Correspondence. “Her path to composing has been long and hard,” Olson said.

Her first appearances were Les armoires vides, published in 1974 in France and Cleaned Out in English in 1990. Her fourth book, La place or A Man’s Place, was her literary achievement.

Originally published in 1988 in French, The Story of a Man’s Place and a Story of a Woman has become a contemporary classic in France. Ernaux won the Prix Renaudot in France in 2008 for her autobiography The Years, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2019 when it was translated into English by Alison L Strayer.

Ankita Chakraborty said in the Guardian that Ernox’s Getting Lost, a book that chronicles her obsessive relationship with a Russian diplomat, “will become a kind of totem for lovers: a guide to help them find their center when, like Erno, they are lost in love”.

Chakraborty writes: “The feature that distinguishes Erno’s writings on sex from others in their surroundings is the complete absence of shame. Desire in them begets more desire, the impulse of death, happiness, and even previous trauma, such as her miscarriage, but never humiliate. Reading it is to cleanse yourself completely from The idea that shame may be a possible consequence of wanting sex.”

Olson said that Erno “clearly believes in the power of liberating writing”.

“Her work is relentless and written in clear and clean language,” he continued. “And when with great courage and clinical ingenuity you reveal the agony of the class experience, describing shame, humiliation, jealousy or inability to see who you are, you have achieved something impressive and lasting.”

Erno’s work was first published in English by Seven Stories Press in the United States, which was founded by Dan Simon in 1995. The press is named after the seven authors Simon first published in Seven Stories Press; Among them was Erno.

In the UK, the independent publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions has published eight of Ernaux’s books, and two more are on the way. Infamy will be released next year, as will Erno’s latest book, Le jeune homme.

Describing Ernault as a very important feminist writer, publisher Jacques Testard said that The Book of Years, her first book to read, was “a very remarkable book, without doubt a masterpiece”.

Testard said that Erno “invents a form and does something really new in literature” with The Years. It is a cross between novel, autobiography, and realism.”

Testard said that “Erno’s literary project was to write about her life and somehow get to the bottom of the matter…I think she wrote about every important event in her life, from the realization of social stratification as a child, to the death of her father and the death of her mother, due to the illegal abortion she had in France in the 1960s, to her first sexual experiences and then writing about love, passion and desire.” She’s been doing this for 50 years and there’s a very real clarity to her work.”

With interest in memory and the writing of life, Testard said, “Proust has quite a clear precedent” for Erno. She is also influenced by Simone de Beauvoir, although the two women have very different social backgrounds. Testard said that Ernault came from a working-class society, such as the French sociologist, public thinker, and writer Pierre Bourdieu.

The Nobel Prize in Literature is worth 10 million Swedish kronor (£840,000) and goes to a writer who is, in the words of Alfred Nobel’s will, “the person who in the field of literature has produced the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”.

The prize was awarded last year to Abdul Razzaq Qurna, “for the uncompromising and merciful penetration of the influences of colonialism and the fate of refugees in the Gulf between cultures and continents.” Previous winners include Bob Dylan, who has been cited for “creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” and Kazuo Ishiguro “who, in novels of great emotional force, has revealed the abyss underlying our illusory sense of connection to the world.”

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