French author Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, it was revealed Thursday. In its announcement of the prize, the Swedish Academy heralded 69-year old 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 La place de l’étoile (Gallimard). His major works translated to English include three books from David R. Godine Publishers—Missing Person, Honeymoon, and Catherine Certitude—and Out of the Dark from University of Nebraska Press. A collection of three Modiano novellas, Suspended Sentences, which was slated to be published by Yale University Press in February 2015, but will now be released this November, according to a spokesperson there.
Godine is already experiencing a bump in sales, publicist Megan Sullivan told PW. The press has some stock for all three titles, but will work with Ingram's Lightning Source to replenish as early as next week. This is the second Nobel prize-winner on the Godine list. The Boston-based press also publishes the 2008 winner, J.M.G. Le Clézio.
Modiano, the 11th literature laureate born in France, according to the Academy, beat out favorites Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Haruki Murakami, and Svetlana Aleksijevitj for the prestigious prize. The award, honoring a body of work, comes with a $1.1 million purse.
Canadian short story writer Alice Munro won the prize in 2013, when she was praised by the Academy as a "master of the contemporary short story."
This story has been updated.