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Annie Ernaux wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2022

Thursday 6 October 2022 - 3:06pm

Annie Ernaux wins Nobel Prize for Literature 2022

06 October: PEN International congratulates French author Annie Ernaux on winning this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature.

The 82-year-old writer from Normandy was awarded the prize for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory. Her autobiographical novels, including Cleaned Out and A Frozen Woman, explore notions of sexuality, social inequality, and class. While her non-fiction texts including A Man’s Place and Shame explore the depths of her own life. Her most recent publication, Getting Lost, published in September 2022, is a document of the diary Ernaux kept while having a secret affair with a Russian diplomat.

PEN International offers its warm congratulations to French author, Annie Ernaux, for winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Ernaux’s earnest and raw writing has touched the hearts of many and has firmly placed her among the most important writers of our time, today is testament to that. - Burhan Sonmez, PEN International President.

Announced today by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, the Nobel Prize for Literature is the most prestigious literature award in the world, with the winner receiving 10.0 million Swedish kronor (£1million). It will be formally awarded late in 2022.

Since its establishment in 1901, 119 individuals have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature of which 16 were women. Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940) was the first woman to be receive the award in 1909.

Among the nominees for this year’s prize were acclaimed authors: Salman Rushdie (former PEN America President), Homero Aridjis (Former PEN International President), Margaret Atwood (PEN International Vice-President), Linton Kwesi Johnson (recipient of the PEN Pinter Prize 2020), Andrey Kurkov (President of PEN Ukraine), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (recipient of the PEN Pinter Prize 2018), Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (PEN International Vice-President) and Lyudmilla Ulitskaya (member of PEN Moscow).

Tanzanian-born British novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah won the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021 "for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents".

Previous winners include PEN International’s first President John Galsworthy, PEN International Vice-Presidents Svetlana Alexievich, John M. Coetzee and Orhan Pamuk, former PEN International President Mario Vargas Llosa, as well as acclaimed authors Ivo Andrić, Grazia Deledda, Bob Dylan, Yasunari Kawabata, Doris Lessing, Naguib Mahfouz, Günter Grass, Toni Morrison, Pablo Neruda, José Saramago, Wole Soyinka and Rabindranath Tagore, among others.

Notes to editors

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