'Brisk, smart, witty, elliptical ... Recalls the directors of the New Wave ... Bracing and brilliant'Independent
When Patrick Modiano was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature he was praised for using the `art of memory' to bring to life the Occupation of Paris during the Second World War. Born in 1945, Modiano's brilliant, angry writings burst onto the Parisian literary scene and caused a storm.
His first, ferociously satirical novel, La Place de l'Etoile, was remarkable in seriously questioning both Nazi collaboration in France and the myths of the Gaullist era. The Night Watch tells the story of a man caught between his work for the French Gestapo and for a Resistance cell. Ring Roads recounts a son's search for his Jewish father, who disappeared ten years previously.
These brilliant, almost hallucinatory, evocations of the Occupation attempt to exorcise the past by exploring the morally ambiguous worlds of collaboration and resistance.
Patrick Modiano was born in Paris in 1945 in the immediate aftermath of World War Two and the Nazi occupation of France, a dark period which continues to haunt him. After passing his baccalaureat, he left full-time education and dedicated himself to writing, encouraged by the French writer Raymond Queneau. From his very first book to his most recent, Modiano has pursued a quest for identity and some form of reconciliation with the past. His books have been published in forty languages and among the many prizes they have won are the Grand Prix du Roman de l'Academie francaise (1972), the Prix Goncourt (1978) and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature (2012). In 2014 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Frank Wynne is the prize-winning translator of Michel Houellebecq, Frederic Beigbeder and Boualem Sansal.