The spokesman for the Swedish Academy has detailed after the announcement that Ernaux clearly believes “in the liberating force of writing” and has stressed that his writing “is completely subordinated to the process of time.” “His work is uncompromising and is written in simple, clean language,” the Swedish spokesman acknowledged in statements collected by Europa Press.
They have also extolled that her works reveal the agony of the class experience, depicting shame, humiliation, jealousy or the inability to see who you are, she has achieved something admirable and enduring.
After the announcement of the Academy, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, congratulated the writer on his Twitter profile, where he praised her work for “writing the novel of the collective and intimate memory of France for 50 years.”
«Her voice is that of the freedom of women and of the forgotten of the century. With this coronation, she joins the great circle of Nobel Prize winners in our French literature », she wrote.
Annie Ernaux was born in Lillebonne (France) in 1940 and grew up in Normandy. Ella’s memoir dealing with her rural setting appeared early as a project that attempted to push the boundaries of literature beyond fiction in the strict sense. Despite her classic and distinctive style, she states that she is an “ethnologist of herself” rather than a fiction writer.
This is demonstrated when he abandoned fiction for autobiographical works, so he began to narrate stories of his life, going from his childhood to his family, and without forgetting his marriage or the breast cancer he suffered.
Ernaux’s debut was ‘Les armoires vides’ (1974) and it was in this work that he began his research into his Norman past, but it was his fourth book, ‘La place’ (1983; A Man’s Place, 1992), which gave him his great literary advance, as recognized by the Academy. In barely a hundred pages he made a dispassionate portrait of his father and of the entire social environment that had fundamentally formed him.
In addition, the writer has inserted reflections on her writing, where she distances herself from “the poetry of memory” and advocates a flat writing: a flat writing that, in solidarity with the father, reveals her world and her language. However, there is also an important political dimension to Ernaux’s language, her writing always overshadowed by a feeling of betrayal of the social class from which she departs.
“Writing is a political act, which opens our eyes to social inequality,” highlights the Academy. And for this, the writer uses language as a “knife”, as she calls it, to tear the veils of the imagination.
His latest book, ‘The Young Man’ has been a highly admired work in France, and in it he recounts the distanced and impersonal way of the third person, a life, his own, with the evolution of the world over the years, according to ‘Le Monde’.
The 2021 winner was Tanzanian-born, UK-based writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his “interest in the effects of colonialism and the fate of refugees and their relationship to cultures and continents.”
To date, 115 Nobel prizes have been awarded in this category and eleven of them have gone to writers in the Spanish language. Of this more than one hundred awards, only 17 have been for women. Ruyard Kipling is the youngest winner of this award (41 years old) and Doris Lessing the oldest (88 years old).
Recent winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature include Louise Glück (2020, United States), Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke (joint edition, after not being awarded in 2018), Kazuo Ishiguro (2017, United Kingdom), Bob Dylan (2016, United States), Svetlana Aleksiévich (2015, Belarus), Patrick Modiano (2014, France), Alice Munro (2013, Canada), Mo Yan (2012, China), Tomas Transtrmer (2011, Sweden) or Mario Vargas Llosa (2010, Peru)