Meet ‘ethnologist of herself’ Nobel literature winner French writer Annie Ernaux
Nobel literature prize 2022: Annie Ernaux who has written books like Journal du dehors and La vie extérieure has said that she is an “ethnologist of herself” rather than a fiction writer.
French author Annie Ernaux on Thursday won the Nobel prize in literature for the year 2022. Born in 1940, Annie Ernaux grew up in the small town of Yvetot in Normandy. Through her prolific writing, Annie Ernaux “examines a life marked by strong disparities regarding gender, language and class”, the Nobel prize committee said announcing the prize.
Annie Ernaux who has written books like Journal du dehors and La vie extérieure has said that she is an “ethnologist of herself” rather than a fiction writer. Her fourth book, La place proved to be a literary breakthrough as she “produced a dispassionate portrait of her father and the entire social milieu that had fundamentally formed him”, the Nobel committee said.
Her oeuvre lacks a narrative voice and is as anonymized as possible as Annie has often distanced herself from “the poetry of memory”, advocating strongly and assertively for plain writing.
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Annie Ernaux “has said that writing is a political act, opening our eyes for social inequality. And for this purpose she uses language as “a knife”, as she calls it, to tear apart the veils of imagination,” the committee said describing her work.
“She has achieved something admirable and enduring,” through her work and by getting the most prestigious award in literature.