French author Annie Ernaux, 82, was on Thursday awarded the Nobel Literature Prize.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2022 was awarded to Annie Ernaux “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory”.
The announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2022 to Annie Ernaux, presented by Mats Malm, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, on 6 October 2022.
Ernaux is the second woman among the eight Nobel laureates honoured so far this year, with women vastly under-represented in the history of the prizes.
French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the award, calling Ernaux’s voice “that of the freedom of women and of the forgotten”.
Interviewed on Swedish television immediately after the announcement, the feminist icon called it a “very great honour” and “a great responsibility”.
Her more than 20 books, many of which have been school texts in France for decades, offer one of the most subtle, insightful windows into the social life of modern France.
“It’s a very strong prose, both brief and uncompromising”
Following the announcement, Anders Olsson, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Literature, was interviewed by the Nobel Prize Museum’s Carin Klaesson about the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature to Annie Ernaux.
Personal experiences are the source for all Ernaux’s work and she is the pioneer of France’s “autofiction” genre, which gives narrative form to real-life experience.
Above all, her crystalline prose has excavated her own passage from working-class girl to the literary elite, casting a critical eye on social structures and her own complicated emotions.
“Ernaux consistently and from different angles, examines a life marked by strong disparities regarding gender, language and class”, the Swedish Academy noted.