An insight into Nobel laureate Jean Patrick Modiano's world

Noted author Jean Patrick Modiano became the 11th French writer to be conferred with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. Peter Englund, the Nobel Academy's permanent secretary, announced Modiano's name in a short ceremony at Stockholm on Thursday.

New Delhi: Noted author Jean Patrick Modiano became the 11th French writer to be conferred with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. Peter Englund, the Nobel Academy's permanent secretary, announced Modiano's name in a short ceremony at Stockholm on Thursday.

Patrick Modiano was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France on July 30, 1945. While Patrick's father was of Jewish origin, his mother Louisa Colpijn, was a Belgian actress.
 

Modiano was brought up by his paternal grandparents and completed his secondary education by the government aid. He studied at the École du Montcel primary school in Jouy-en-Josas, at the Collège Saint-Joseph de Thônes in Haute-Savoie, and then at the Lycée Henri-IV high school in Paris. He received his baccalaureate at Annecy, but did not continue his higher education.

The turning point in Modiano's life came when he met Queneau, author of 'Zazie dans le métro'. Queneau was the person who introduced the young French lad to the world of literature. He published his first book in the year in 1968. Titled 'La Place de l'étoile'', the book was a wartime story based on Jewish collaborator. 

In 1973, the author tried his hand at something new and co-wrote screenplay for a French film titled 'Lacombe Lucien', directed ace filmmaker Louise Malle. The film sparked a controversy because of it's lead character's political involvement.

Several of Modiano's work have also been translated in various languages. Some his books that have been translated in English include- Les boulevards de ceinture (1972; Ring Roads: A Novel, 1974), Villa Triste (1975; Villa Triste, 1977),Quartier perdu (1984; A Trace of Malice, 1988) and Voyage de noces (1990; Honeymoon, 1992).
Besides the Nobel Prize, the writer has won several other awards. He won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 for his novel 'Rue des boutiques obscures' (Missing Person) and the Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1972 for 'Les Boulevards de ceinture'. He also won the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca from the Institut de France for his lifetime achievement in 2010. In 2012, he was conferred with the Austrian State Prize for European Literature.

Certainly a big name in French literature world, very few English readers know about Jean Patrick Modiano. The only reason for this is that most of his work is in French, and a very few of them have been translated in English.
 

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