Patrick Modiano Wins 2014 Nobel Prize In Literature

The Swedish Academy has spoken, and the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature goes to Patrick Modiano. The 69-year-old French author is the 13th French writer to win the medal — he collects an 8 million kronor ($1.1 million) prize on December 10 honoring his lifetime of work. The Academy awarded the prize to Modiano "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."

Some kind words, yes?

If you're not familiar with this year's selection, don't feel super-in-the-dark: Although Modiano is the author of more than 40 works, you may not have read him because few of his books have been translated into English.

Modiano was published for the first time in 1968 when he was just 22 with The Star's Place, a reference to the Star of David badge Jews would have to wear on their clothes during Nazi Europe, and has been writing moving words on "themes of memory, alienation, and the puzzle of identity" since. Often set in Paris, not far from his birthplace, his stories commonly examine themes of German occupation.

The French author was something of a surprise selection — many had placed their bets on Haruki Murakami, Philip Roth, or playwright Ngugi wa Thiong'o to snag the honor.

Someone new to add to the TBR pile? I'd certainly say so.