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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 5:04 EDT

French Writer Le Clezio Wins Nobel Prize

October 9, 2008

French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Nobel Foundation in Sweden announced Thursday.

In making the announcement, the foundation said Le Clezio was an “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy (and an) explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization.”

Born in Nice, Le Clezio has published about 30 books, including short stories, novels, essays, two translations on the subject of Indian mythology. His breakthrough as a novelist came with “Desert” in 1980, for which he received a prize from the French Academy.

Among Le Clezio’s most recent works is 2007′s “Ballaciner,” a personal essay about the history of the art of film and its importance in the author’s life. “Ritournelle de la faim,” has just been published.

Le Clezio is the first French novelist to receive the Nobel Prize in literature since Gao Xingjian in 2000 and Claude Simon in 1985.