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French novelist Le Clezio wins Nobel Prize

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French novelist Le Clezio wins Nobel Prize

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French writer Jean-Marie Le Clezio has won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish Nobel Academy praised the 68-year-old as an adventurous and ground breaking writer.

On receiving the award, Le Clezio said the novel was still relevant to modern times. ‘‘We must continue reading novels because I believe the novel is a good way of interrogating today’s world without having answers which are too over-simplified and automatic. A novelist is not a philosopher, it isn’t a technician of the spoken language. It’s someone who writes first of all and poses questions.’‘

Born in Nice in 1940, Le Clezio now lives in Mexico. He has written thirty works including a number of children’s books. The jury said Le Clezio “explored new depths in literature and human relations”.

Seen as critical of aggressive urban society and western materialism, he is the first French author to win the honour since 1985 and receives one million euros in prize money. Other recent winners of the prestigious award include the English writer Doris Lessing.