One-Minute Book Reviews

October 9, 2008

Jean-Marie Le Clézio – The Biggest Nobel Surprise Since Dario Fo

Filed under: Book Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

No, you’re not the only one who hasn’t heard of him. After the Swedish Academy announced that the French novelist Jean-Marie Le Clézio had won the 2008 Nobel Prize in literature, Lev Grossman wrote in Time: “The sound of America’s literary journalists searching Wikipedia en masse is deafening” www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1848582,00.html.

Le Clézio’s selection may be the biggest surprise since the Italian playwright Dario Fo won in 1997. Not long after Fo won, the book editor of a major newspaper asked a group of us who were attending a National Book Critics Circle meeting, “Had you heard of him?” No hands went up. If you had asked me two days ago to name a French longshot for the Nobel, I would have said unhesitatingly, “Annie Ernaux,” whose work I reviewed on Feb. 20 www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/.

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

3 Comments »

  1. Ooooh, and here I just said in a comment to your other post:

    “As far as nations winning the most Nobel prizes, France leads with 13 so the French writers had probably better count on sitting out a few more years.”

    I feel silly now! :)

    Comment by Val Kovalin — October 9, 2008 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  2. I predicted that “Netherland” would breeze onto the Man Booker Prize shortlist, so as a failed Nostradamus, you have company :).

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — October 9, 2008 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  3. I feel better. ;)

    Comment by Val Kovalin — October 9, 2008 @ 3:14 pm | Reply


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