Modiano, who lives in Paris, frequently writes about the occupation of France during the war and its affect on the citizens of France.
“The Swedish Academy said it gave the 8 million-kronor ($1.1 million Cdn) prize to him for evoking “the most ungraspable human destinies” and uncovering the world of life behind the Nazi occupation.
Jewishness, the Nazi occupation and loss of identity are recurrent themes in his novels, which include 1968’s La Place de l’Etoile — later hailed in Germany as a key post-Holocaust work.
His novel Missing Person won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 and he has published more than 40 works in French. Some have been translated into English, including Ring of Roads: A Novel, Villa Triste, A Trace of Malice, and Honeymoon.
Dervila Cooke of Dublin City University, author of a book about Modiano, said his works dealt with the traumas of France’s past but have a “darkly humorous touch.”
“His prose is crystal clear and resonant,” she said. “A common description of his work is of its ‘petite musique’ — it’s haunting little music.” (CBC. Karl Ritter and Malin Rising; Oct 09, 2014)