Annie Ernaux wins the 2022 Nobel prize in Literature

The 2022 Nobel prize for literature has been awarded to the French author Annie Ernaux.

The Swedish Academy announced on Thursday that it had awarded Ernaux “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory.”

In her writing Ernaux consistently and from different angles, examines a life marked by strong disparities regarding gender, language and class.

The Swedish Academy added that her path to authorship was long and arduous. Nominations for the literature prize, which can be submitted by members of the academy and its peer institutions, linguistic professors, previous laureates, presidents of national literary societies and peer institutions, are kept secret for 50 years.

After discussing and scrutunising the works of nominees, on the list, the academy selects a winner in October.

The smaller committee narrows the list of five possible candidates each year.

The Nobel Prize like others for sciences, economics and peace work, is awarded annually by the eighteen-member Swedish Academy.

The usually much anticipated literature prize, typically recognises an author’s full bulk of work. Previously, though, the academy has singled out individual works by laureates on nine occasions.

The winner of this year will receive prize money worth roughly $913, 000. Last year, Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Tanzanian-born novelist who writes in English, won the prize.

He was awarded “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugees in the gulf between cultures and continents”.

The 2022 awards ceremony will be held on December 10 in Stockholm.

Ernaux, was cited as a potential laureate by online betting sites if the committee had its eyes on a woman including Us novelist Joyce Carol Oates, Maryse Conde, also a French novelist, Russia’s Lyudmila Ulitskaya and Canada’s Margaret Atwood.

Others who were hoped to win the literature prize were France’s Michel Houellebec as the favourite, ahead of the British author Salman Rushdie, who was the victim of an attempted murder attach in August, this year.

Who is Ernaux

According to Wikipedia, Ernaux, (birth name Annie Duchesne; born 1 September 1940) is a French writer and professor of literature. Ernaux grew up in Yvetot in Normandy.

She is from a working-class background, but her parents eventually owned a café-grocery store. She studied at the universities of Rouen and then Bordeaux, qualifying as a school-teacher, and gaining a higher degree in modern literature (1971).

She worked for a time on a thesis project, unfinished, on Marivaux. In the early 1970s, she taught at the Bonneville Lycée, at the college of Évire in Annecy-le-Vieux, then in Pontoise, before joining the National Center for Distance Learning (Centre national d’enseignement à distance – CNED). 

Ernaux a divorcee and mother of two boys, started her literary career in 1974 with Les Armoires vides (Cleaned Out), an autobiographical novel. 

2 replies on “Annie Ernaux wins the 2022 Nobel prize in Literature”

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