The 82-year-old writer is known for works that blur the line between memoir and fiction.


In making the announcement, the committee noted the "clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory.

The permanent secretary also noted during his announcement that they had not been able to reach Ernaux to let her know of the award, worth approximately $900,000 in U.S. dollars

Ernaux was born in 1940 in France. Her first book, Cleaned Out, in 1974, was an autobiographical novel about obtaining an abortion when it was still illegal in France.

She wrote the book in secret. "My husband had made fun of me after my first manuscript," she told the New York Times in 2020

That said, "it's very important for us also, that the laureate has universal consequence in her work. That it can reach everyone."

After decades of excavating her own past in various works, Ernaux published The Years, which many critics saw as the her defining statement.

First published in 2008, The Years was an expansive look at the society that created her. While it was an examination of each year of her life from 1940 - 2006