Just over a week after the top jury member of the Nobel Prize told the AP that American writers shouldn’t hope to hear their name called this year on account of their collective insularity and ignorance, word comes that the 2008 laureate for literature is French novelist and essayist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio.
According to the Times, the committee called Mr. Le Clézio an “author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization.” The prize, which was given to British author Doris Lessing last year, puts $1.43 million into Mr. Le Clezio’s pocket.
The Times notes also that 12 of Mr. Le Clézio’s books have been translated into English, but a quick look at Amazon suggests that none of them are very easily available here. Will American publishers rush to buy the rights to these books now, or will they ignore the whole thing in protest?