The Oddly Bewitching Novels of Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano

By Olivier Berggruen

PARIS — Ever since I read Villa Triste in my late teens, I have been captivated by Patrick Modiano’s forays into the shadowy atmosphere of ravaged memories that make up his novels. I am far from alone, since Modiano is somewhat of a cult figure in France, read by thousands.
Still, it came as a surprise when it was announced that he had won this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Not well known abroad, few of his novels have been translated into English. He is also a writer’s writer, and perhaps his fans don’t want to share him too widely. In his infrequent television appearances, he cuts a handsome, slightly perplexed figure, mumbling away sentences often left hanging in the air, drifting into parenthetical thoughts, clumsily correcting himself.

Dora Bruder (English translation)

Dora Bruder (English translation)

Dora Bruder

Dora Bruder


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Patrick Modiano, a Modern ‘Proust,’ Is Awarded Nobel in Literature

By ALEXANDRA ALTER and DAN BILEFSKYOCT. 9, 2014

Patrick Modiano, the French writer whose moody, terse and occasionally dreamlike novels are often set during the Nazi occupation of France, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.
Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which awards the prize, called Mr. Modiano “a Marcel Proust of our time,” noting that his works resonate with one another thematically and are “always variations of the same thing, about memory, about loss, about identity, about seeking.”

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Literature Nobel Goes to French Novelist Patrick Modiano

by Colin Dwyer, October 09, 2014 7:10 AM ET

…In a rare interview accorded to France Today in 2011, Modiano says he never considered becoming anything but a writer. “I had no diploma, no definite goal to achieve. But it is tough for a young writer to begin so early. Really, I prefer not to read my early books. Not that I don’t like them, but I don’t recognize myself anymore, like an old actor watching himself as a young leading man.”

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S’il ne fallait lire que cinq livres de Patrick Modiano

Le Monde.fr | 10.10.2014 à 21h33 • Mis à jour le 11.10.2014 à 11h57 | Par Denis Cosnard

Dora Bruder (1997). Si vous ne devez en lire qu’un, choisissez celui-là. Le plus poignant, le plus fort de toute l’œuvre de Patrick Modiano. A partir d’une petite annonce trouvée dans un Paris-Soir de 1941, l’écrivain se lance sur les traces d’une jeune fille juive, une fugueuse disparue dans la nuit noire de l’Occupation. A travers cette enquête, Modiano cherche Dora, mais aussi son propre père, qui se cachait également dans le Paris de cette époque. Absolument magnifique, même s’il ne s’agit pas d’un roman.

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