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French writer wins 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature
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French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday.

The Academy cited Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio as "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization."

French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio [File Photo]

Le Clezio, 48, received much attention with his first novel The Interrogation in 1963 and made the breakthrough as a novelist with Desert in 1980, for which he was rewarded a prize from the French Academy.

This novel Desert contains magnificent images of a lost culture in the North African desert, contrast with a depiction of Europe seen through the eyes of unwanted immigrants, the Swedish Academy said in the statement.

The emphasis in Le Clezio's work has increasingly moved in the direction of an exploration of the world of childhood and of his own family history, the academy added.

Le Clezio was born 1940 in Nice of France, but both parents had strong family connections with the former French colony Mauritius.At the age of eight, he moved to Nigeria with his family. During the month-long voyage to Nigeria, he began his literary career with two book Un long voyage and Oradi noir.

He has taught at universities in Bangkok, Mexico City, Boston, Austin and Albuquerque among other places. Since the 1990s, Le Clezio and his wife share their time between Albuquerque in New Mexico, the island of Mauritius and Nice.

This was the fourth of the prestigious Nobel Prizes handed out this year, with awards in chemistry, physics and medicine made in the past three days.

The Nobel Prizes have been awarded annually since 1901 to those who "conferred the greatest benefit on mankind during the preceding year."

The annual Nobel Prizes are usually announced in October and are handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite.

Each prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (1.4 million U.S. dollars).

(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2008)

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