Author bio

Author Image

Patrick Modiano - book author

Patrick Modiano is a French-language author and playwright and winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature.

He is a winner of the 1972 Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française, and the 1978 Prix Goncourt for his novel "Rue des boutiques obscures".

Modiano's parents met in occupied Paris during World War II and began a clandestine relationship. Modiano's childhood took place in a unique atmosphere: with an absent father -- of which he heard troubled stories of dealings with the Vichy regime -- and a Flemish-actress mother who frequently toured. His younger brother's sudden death also greatly influenced his writings.

While he was at Henri-IV lycee, he took geometry lessons from writer Raymond Queneau, who was a friend of Modiano's mother. He entered the Sorbonne, but did not complete his studies.

Queneau, the author of "Zazie dans le métro", introduced Modiano to the literary world via a cocktail party given by publishing house Éditions Gallimard. Modiano published his first novel, "La Place de l’Étoile", with Gallimard in 1968, after having read the manuscript to Raymond Queneau. Starting that year, he did nothing but write.

On September 12, 1970, Modiano married Dominique Zerhfuss. "I have a catastrophic souvenir of the day of our marriage. It rained. A real nightmare. Our groomsmen were Queneau, who had mentored Patrick since his adolescence, and Malraux, a friend of my father. They started to argue about Dubuffet, and it was like we were watching a tennis match! That said, it would have been funny to have some photos, but the only person who had a camera forgot to bring a roll of film. There is only one photo remaining of us, from behind and under an umbrella!" (Interview with Elle, 6 October 2003). From their marriage came two girls, Zina (1974) and Marie (1978).

Modiano has mentioned on Oct 9, 2014, during an interview with La Grande Librairie, that one of the books which had a great impact on his writing life was 'Le cœur est un chasseur solitaire' (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter), the first novel published by Carson McCullers in 1940.

(Arabic: باتريك موديانو)

Patrick Modiano is the author of books: Rue des Boutiques Obscures, Dora Bruder, Dans le café de la jeunesse perdue, Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas, So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood, La Petite Bijou, Honeymoon, Villa triste, L'Herbe des nuits, La Place de l’Étoile

Author Signature

Author Books

Que reste-t-il de la vie d'un homme ? Une photo, au fond d'une boîte ou d'un tiroir, des papiers administratifs, quelquefois une fiche de police ou un nom dans un Bottin. Et aussi les souvenirs de ceux qui l'ont connu ou rencontré. Ils seront de moins en moins nombreux et leurs souvenirs de plus en plus vagues. Ainsi l'écho d'une vie décroît-il jusqu'à s'éteindre tout à fait. A supposer que quelqu'un puisse revenir sur terre après sa mort, que retrouverait-il de lui dans les lieux qui lui étaient familiers et dans la mémoire des autres ? Et qui pousse un certain Guy Roland, employé dans une agence de police privée que dirige un baron balte, à partir à la recherche d'un inconnu disparu depuis longtemps ? Le besoin de se retrouver lui-même après des années d'amnésie ? Au cours de sa recherche, il recueille des bribes de la vie de cet homme qui était peut-être lui et à qui, de toute façon, il finit par s'identifier. Comme dans un dernier tour de manège, passent les témoins de la jeunesse de ce Pedro McEvoy, les seuls qui pourraient le reconnaître : Denise Coudreuse, Freddie Howard de Luz, Gay Orlow, Dédé Wildmer, Scouffi, Rubirosa, Sonachitzé, d'autres encore, aux noms et aux passeports compliqués, qui font que ce livre pourrait être l'intrusion des âmes errantes dans le roman policier.
Patrick Modiano opens Dora Bruder by telling how in 1988 he stumbled across an ad in the personal columns of the New Year's Eve 1941 edition of Paris Soir. Placed by the parents of a 15-year-old Jewish girl, Dora Bruder, who had run away from her Catholic boarding school, the ad sets Modiano off on a quest to find out everything he can about Dora and why, at the height of German reprisals, she ran away on a bitterly cold day from the people hiding her. He finds only one other official mention of her name on a list of Jews deported from Paris to Auschwitz in September 1942.

With no knowledge of Dora Bruder aside from these two records, Modiano continues to dig for fragments from Dora's past. What little he discovers in official records and through remaining family members, becomes a meditation on the immense losses of the period—lost people, lost stories, and lost history. Modiano delivers a moving account of the ten-year investigation that took him back to the sights and sounds of Paris under the Nazi Occupation, and the paranoia of the Pétain regime as he tries to find connections to Dora. In his efforts to exhume her from the past, Modiano realizes that he must come to terms with the specters of his own troubled adolescence. The result, a montage of creative and historical material, is Modiano's personal rumination on loss, both memoir and memorial.
« Encore aujourd'hui, il m'arrive d'entendre, le soir, une voix qui m'appelle par mon prénom, dans la rue. Une voix rauque. Elle traîne un peu sur les syllabes et je la reconnais tout de suite : la voix de Louki. Je me retourne, mais il n'y a personne. Pas seulement le soir, mais au creux de ces après-midi d'été où vous ne savez plus très bien en quelle année vous êtes. Tout va recommencer comme avant. Les mêmes jours, les mêmes nuits, les mêmes lieux, les mêmes rencontres. L'Éternel Retour. »

Quatre narrateurs (un étudiant de l’école des mines, un détective privé, l’héroïne et un de ses amants) construisent le portrait de Jacqueline Delanque ou Louki. Jeune femme ayant rapidement quitté son mari et qui flâne dans le Paris des années 50/60 en déversant ses souvenirs : une enfance difficile, un mariage raté et quelques amitiés avec des clients d’un café du quartier de l’Odéon : Le Condé.
Although originally published separately, Patrick Modiano’s three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers—each appears in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists. In this superb English-language translation of Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin, Mark Polizzotti captures not only Modiano’s distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.
Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano’s fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person’s confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To read Modiano’s trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.
A haunting novel of suspense from the winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature

In the stillness of his Parisian apartment, Jean Daragane has built a life of total solitude. Then a surprising phone call shatters the silence of an unusually hot September, and the threatening voice on the other end of the line leaves Daragane wary but irresistibly curious. Almost at once, he finds himself entangled with a shady gambler and a beautiful, fragile young woman, who draw Daragane into the mystery of a decades-old murder. The investigation will force him to confront the memory of a trauma he had all but buried.  With So You Don’t Get Lost in the Neighborhood Patrick Modiano adds a new chapter to a body of work whose supreme psychological insight and subtle, atmospheric writing have earned him worldwide renown — including the Nobel Prize in Literature. This masterly novel, now translated into twenty languages, penetrates the deepest enigmas of identity and compels us to ask whether we ever know who we truly are.
Quand j'avais sept ans, on m'appelait la Petite Bijou. " Il a souri. Il trouvait certainement cela charmant et tendre pour une petite fille. Lui aussi, j'en étais sûre, sa maman lui avait donné un surnom qu'elle lui murmurait à l'oreille, le soir, avant de l'embrasser. Patoche. Pinky. Poulou.
" Ce n'est pas ce que vous croyez, lui ai-je dit. Moi, c'était mon nom d'artiste.

Modiano, winner of the Prix Goncourt, constructs "a haunting tale of quiet intensity" (Review of Contemporary Fiction). It parallels the story of Jean B., a filmmaker who abandons his wife and career to hole up in a Paris hotel, with that of Ingrid and Rigaud, a refugee couple he'd met twenty years before, and whose mystery continues to haunt him.

Praise for Honeymoon

His writing has the spare strength and telling concentration of a Simenon.

—The Independent
' Jean... Qu'est-ce que tu dirais si j'avais fait quelque chose de grave ? ' J'avoue que cette question ne m'avait pas alarmé. Peut-être à cause du ton détaché qu'elle avait pris, comme on cite les paroles d'une chanson ou les vers d'un poème. Et à cause de ce : 'Jean... Qu'est-ce que tu dirais... 'c était justement un vers qui m était revenu à la mémoire : '. .. Dis, Blaise, sommes-nous bien loin de Montmartre ? '' Qu'est-ce que tu dirais si j'avais tué quelqu'un ? 'J'ai cru qu'elle plaisantait ou qu'elle m'avait posé cette question à cause des romans policiers qu'elle avait l'habitude de lire.
Au mois de juin 1942, un officier allemand s'avance vers un jeune homme et lui dit: "Pardon, monsieur, où se trouve la place de l'Etoile?". Le jeune homme désigne le côté gauche de sa poitrine.