Some background, via 3Quarks, on recent Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio from The Australian:
Although the recipient of several prizes recognising his vast body of work -- more than 40 novels, essays, collections of short stories and translations -- Le Clezio has at times been disparaged as a naive and sentimental writer by the Parisian literati. Through his writing and relatively infrequent media appearances, he engages with serious global issues and causes close to his heart. He speaks out against the exploitation of children as soldiers and prostitutes, whaling, environmental degradation, racial discrimination and world hunger. But he has never been awarded France's top literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, nor mooted for a place among "the immortals" in the French Academy.
He has only recently stepped into the kind of roles that a writer of his stature might normally assume. As a member of the jury for the Prix Renaudot, and the Prix des cinq continents de la Francophonie (Prize of the Five Francophone Continents), he finally exerts some notable influence on the French literary landscape. And now, as a Nobel laureate, that influence may extend to all the countries in the world where he was, until October 9, practically unheard of (more...)