Patrick Modiano, the French novelist whose works often explore the traumas of the Nazi occupation of France and hinge on the themes of memory, alienation and the puzzle of identity, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.
In an announcement in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy cited Mr. Modiano’s ability to evoke “the most ungraspable human destinies” in his work.
The Nobel, one of the most prestigious and financially generous awards in the world, comes with a $1.1 million prize. The literature prize is given out for a lifetime of writing rather than for a single work.
Mr. Modiano, who has published about 30 works, has written novels, children’s books and screenplays, first rose to prominence in 1968 with his novel “La Place de l’Étoile.”
Many of his fictional works are set in Paris during World War II, and some play with the detective genre. About a dozen of his works have been translated into English, as well as into other European languages, but he is not widely known outside France.