Friday, October 07, 2022

Simple Passion: The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to ... Annie Ernaux

    “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory”

— The citation for Annie Ernaux.

    The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to ... Annie Ernaux 

       They've announced the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature, and it is Annie Ernaux
       She was awarded the prize: "for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory". 

       Great news for publishers Seven Stories and Fitzcarraldo Editions, who have long championed her. 
       For first reports on her win, see, for example:

       With fourteen of her titles under review at the complete review -- the first was part of the first batch of reviews ever posted at the site, in April, 1999 -- she's well covered here and so there's already extensive information about her work available here:       See also the reviews of her work at Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Review

Annie Ernaux Wins 2022 Nobel Prize For Literature

"Ernaux, 82, started out writing autobiographical novels, but quickly abandoned fiction in favor of memoirs. Her more than 20 books, most very short, chronicle events in her life and the lives of those around her. They present uncompromising portraits of sexual encounters, abortion, illness and the deaths of her parents." - AP

Getting Lost, translated by Alison L Sayers

On 16 Nov, 1989, I phoned the Soviet embassy in Paris and asked to speak to Mr S. The switchboard operator did not reply. After a long silence, a woman’s voice said: ‘You know, Mr S returned to Moscow yesterday.’ I immediately hung up. I felt as if I’d heard this sentence before, over the phone. The words were not the same but they had the same meaning, the same weight of horror, and were just as impossible to believe. Later, I remembered the announcement of my mother’s death, three and a half years earlier, how the nurse at the hospital had said: ‘Your mother passed away this morning after breakfast.’

The Berlin Wall had fallen several days before. The Soviet regimes established in Europe were toppling one after the other. The man who had just returned to Moscow was a faithful servant of the USSR, a Russian diplomat posted in Paris. 

I had met him the previous year on a writers’ junket to Moscow, Tbilisi, and Leningrad, a voyage he had been assigned to accompany. We had spent the last night together, in Leningrad. After returning to France, we continued to see each other. The ritual was invariable. He would ring to ask if he could come around to see me in the afternoon or evening, or, more rarely, a day or two later. He would arrive and stay just a few hours, which we spent making love. Then he left, and I would live in wait for his next call.

       Countdown to the Nobel Prize 

       Yes, the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announcedtomorrow. 
       Check out the latest odds at Ladbrokes -- Salman Rushdie at 8/1 as I write this (sorry, I don't see it; I don't think he made the shortlist -- a necessary step -- because I can't imagine the Nobel committee takes his more recent fiction seriously) . 
       Recent articles considering what might happen include: Salman Rushdie among favourites for this year's Nobel prize for literature by Sarah Shaffi at The Guardian and Aftonbladet's Aftonbladet Kultur tippar litteraturpriset, with various journalists saying who they would like to see win, and who they would be disappointed to have win. The Svenska Dagbladet preview, De kan få årets Nobelpris i litteratur is unfortunately paywalled. 
       I'll have extensive coverage tomorrow -- though how extensive will depend very much on who gets the prize. 

Nobel laureate Annie Ernaux 

       As you know, Annie Ernaux was awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Literature; see also my coverage from yesterday. 

       See now also: