Home / News / World /  French author Annie Ernaux wins 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature

The Nobel prize in literature has been awarded to French author Annie Ernaux, “for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory."

Ernaux, whose work is mostly autobiographical, is 82.

The French author believes in the liberating force of writing. Her work is uncompromising and written in plain language, scraped clean.

With great courage and clinical acuity, Annie Ernaux reveals the agony of the experience of class, describing shame, humiliation, jealousy or inability to see who you are, she has achieved something admirable and enduring.

This year's Nobel Prize laureate in literature has also said that writing is a political act, opening our eyes for social inequality. For this purpose she uses language as “a knife", as she calls it, to tear apart the veils of imagination.

The prize is awarded by the Swedish Academy and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($914,704). The money comes from a bequest left by the prize's creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1895.

Last year's Nobel literature prize went to the Tanzanian-born, UK-based writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, whose novels explore the impact of migration on individuals and societies.

Gurnah was only the sixth Nobel literature laureate born in Africa, and the prize has long faced criticism that it is too focused on European and North American writers. The prizes to Gurnah in 2021 and US poet Louise Glück in 2020 helped the literature prize move on from years of controversy and scandal.

In 2018, the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, which names the Nobel literature committee, and sparked an exodus of members. The academy revamped itself but faced more criticism for giving the 2019 literature award to Austria's Peter Handke, who has been called an apologist for Serbian war crimes.

A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Monday with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo receiving the award in medicine for unlocking secrets of Neanderthal DNA that provided key insights into our immune system.

Three scientists jointly won the prize in physics on Tuesday. Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John F. Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger had shown that tiny particles can retain a connection with each other even when separated, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement, that can be used for specialized computing and to encrypt information.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to Americans Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, and Danish scientist Morten Meldal for developing a way of “snapping molecules together" that can be used to explore cells, map DNA and design drugs that can target diseases such as cancer more precisely.

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