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”,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

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  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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