Patrick Modiano


Patrick Modiano

© Nobel Media AB. Photo: A. Mahmoud

Patrick Modiano
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2014

Born: 30 July 1945, Paris, France

Residence at the time of the award: France

Prize motivation: “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”

Language: French

Prize share: 1/1


Patrick Modiano was born in Boulogne-Billancourt outside Paris. His father was a businessman and his mother an actor. They met in Paris during the German occupation during World War II. After growing up with his grandparents and having received Flemish as their first language, Modiano studied at the Lycée Henri IV in Paris and took private lessons in geometry from the writer Raymond Queneau, who came to play a crucial role in the development of Modiano as a writer. He debuted as an author in 1968. Patrick Modiano is married and has two daughters.


Good stories are often characterized by their exploration of universal but difficult questions, at the same time as they are grounded in everyday settings and historical events. Patrick Modiano’s works center around subjects like memory, oblivion, identity, and guilt. The city of Paris plays a central role in his writing, and his stories are often based on events that occurred during the German occupation of France during World War II. At times, Modiano’s stories are based on his own experience or on interviews, newspaper articles, or his own notes.

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