French author Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, whose vast world travels form the poetic and descriptive backdrop for his body of work, won the 2008 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday.
The Swedish Academy hailed Le Clezio (68), as an “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilisation.”
Le Clezio, speaking to Swedish Radio, said he was “very moved.”
“It’s a great honour for me, I’m sincerely grateful to the Nobel Academy," he said.
The newest Nobel laureate is one of the French writers best known outside his country and one of the most wide-ranging in his choice of subject matter.
The Academy cited his novel Revolutions from 2003 as summing up "the most important themes of his work: memory, exile, the reorientations of youth, cultural conflict.”
“The emphasis in Le Clezio’s work has increasingly moved in the direction of an exploration of the world of childhood and of his own family history,” it added.
Le Clezio will receive the diploma, medal and a cheque for $1.42 million at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10.