Stockholm, Oct 09: French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won the 2008 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday for his poetic adventure and "sensual ecstasy." The Swedish Academy called Le Clezio, 68, an "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization." Le Clezio made his breakthrough as a novelist with "Desert," in 1980, a work the academy said "contains magnificent images of a lost culture in the North African desert contrasted with a depiction of Europe seen through the eyes of unwanted immigrants."
Le Clezio also won a prize from the French Academy for the work.
The Swedish Academy said Le Clezio from early on "stood out as an ecologically engaged author, an orientation that is accentuated with the novels `Terra Amata,` `The Book of Flights,` `War` and `The Giants.`"
The decision stood was in line with the Swedish Academy`s recent picks of European authors for the prestigious award. Last year, it went to Briton Doris Lessing.
Le Clezio was born in Nice in 1940 and at eight the family moved to Nigeria, where his father had been a doctor during World War II.
His most recent works include 2007`s "Ballaciner," a work the academy called a "deeply personal essay about the history of the art of film and the importance of film" in his life.
His books have also included several tales for children, including 1980`s "Lullaby" and "Balaabilou" in 1985.