Yale Press to publish Nobel Prize-winner’s latest book in English
French author Annie Ernaux, who today was named the winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, will soon be among the authors whose books have been translated into English as part of The Margellos World Republic of Letters, a Yale University Press series dedicated to making literature from around the world available in English through translation. It will be the first time the Press publishes a work by Ernaux.
In April 2023, the Press will publish the first English translation of Ernaux’s “Look at the Lights, My Love,” which it describes as “a diaristic meditation on the uniquely modern phenomenon of the big-box superstore: an institution that is part of all of our lives but has been paid scant attention in art and literature.
“Annie Ernaux explores this space as a site of collective memory and unexpected encounter, interpreting its details with her signature attentive gaze and elucidating what they reveal about the contours of society.”
This is the second time since the literature-in-translation series was created in 2008 that one of its featured authors has won a Nobel Prize in Literature. In 2014, French novelist Patrick Modiano was honored on the eve of the release of “Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas,” which was translated by Mark Polizzotti and published by the Yale Press/The Margellos World Republic of Letters. The Press has since published nine books by Modiano.
“As a great admirer of Annie Ernaux’s extraordinary work, it is a particular pleasure for me to see her receive this global recognition,” said John Donatich, director of Yale University Press, of her Nobel Prize. “Her visionary nonfiction is a profound achievement, and it richly deserves the wide readership this prize will attract. Those many new readers are about to make a wonderful discovery.”
A prolific author of some 20 books, Ernaux has excavated her own memory of growing up in rural France to blend autobiography and fiction in many of her novels. Her first book, “Les armoires vides” (1974) was published in English as “Cleaned Out” in 1990. Her other books include (in English titles) “Simple Passion,” “Happening,” “A Girl’s Story,” “Getting Lost,” and “The Years.”
In announcing this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, praised the 82-year-old Ernaux for “the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements, and collective restraints of personal memory.”