The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded on Thursday to French author Patrick Modiano for “the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”
Modiano, 69, is the author of more than two dozen books and several screenplays. The 11th Literature laureate born in France, Modiano is also the recipient of the Grand prix du roman de l’Académie française, the Prix Goncourt, the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature.
Prior to the announcement, speculation as to the next Nobel laureate in literature was rampant. Bettors at U.K. bookmakers Ladbrokes favored Kenyan poet Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, who had surged to the front of the pack in recent days. Murakami had frequently been fingered as a possible Nobel laureate in previous years, including in 2013, when he led the odds, only to lose out to Alice Munro.