French Writer Annie Ernaux has won the Nobel Prize in literature for 2022, it was announced by the Nobel Foundation on October 6, 2022.

The book was translated into English in 1990.

At the press conference for the announcement, Anders Olsson, the chair of the Nobel committee for literature, was asked if there was a political sentiment behind giving the award to someone who has written so personally about abortion. Olsson rebuffed, saying the committee focuses on literature and literary quality. That said, “it’s very important for us also, that the laureate has universal consequence in her work. That it can reach everyone.”

Annie Ernaux grew up in Normandy, studied at Rouen University, and later taught at secondary school. Her books, in particular A Man’s Place and A Woman’s Story, have become contemporary classics in France. The Years won the Prix Renaudot in France in 2008, the Premio Strega in Italy in 2016, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2019. In 2017, Annie Ernaux was awarded the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her life’s work. In 2022, Ernaux was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

One of her books, A Simple Passion, a New York Times Notable Book and France’s #1 best-seller for eight months – with more than 400,000 copies sold – A Simple Passion documents the desires and indignities of a human heart ensnared in an all-consuming passion. As the narrator attempts to plot the emotional and physical course of her two-year relationship with a married foreigner, where every word, event, and person either provides a connection with her beloved or is subject to cold indifference, she seeks the truth behind an existence lived for someone else, and in its aftermath, she finds it.

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Read more about the Prize: The Nobel Prize in Literature 2022

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