Nobel Prize


There was talk (perhaps wishful) around the Booklist office that this year’s Nobel Prize might go to Margaret Atwood or Philip Roth. Instead it went to a French writer that none of us has read, or even heard of.  Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, 68, was cited by the Swedish academy as  an “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization.”  Few of Le Clézio’s books are available in English (an English-language version of Wandering Star was released 2004  by Curbstone Press), but this will certainly change.

No American (not to mention Canadian) has won the Nobel literature prize since Toni Morrison in 1993, and in fact the permanent secretary of the Nobel academy said recently that the U.S. is too ignorant and insular to ever topple Europe’s literary dominance. 



About the Author:

Mary Ellen Quinn is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Librarianship (2014), the former editor of Reference Books Bulletin, and a long-time contributing writer to Booklist.

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