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Literature Nobel Goes to French Novelist Patrick Modiano

This year's Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to French author Patrick Modiano, the Swedish Academy announced this morning. Something of a surprise selection, Modiano is the second French writer in less than a decade to have won the award.

In a citation read by Permanent Secretary Peter Englund, the Academy lauded Modiano "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."

Modiano made his debut in 1968 with the novel La Place de l'Etoile. In the years that have followed, Modiano's prolific output has garnered both popularity and acclaim in France, even as a relative few of his works have been translated into English. His most recent novel is L'Herbe des Nuits.

The 69-year-old writer will receive approximately $1.1 million with the prize, in a ceremony slated for Dec. 10.

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