Nobel literature prize fell into my life ‘like a bomb’, says Annie Ernaux

Amy Raphael in The Guardian:

In conversation with the novelist Sally Rooney on the final day of Charleston festival, Ernaux was talking via an interpreter as she explained her tricky relationship with the prize.

She said: “So I’m going to be brutal and say that I obtained a prize I never wanted. The Nobel prize fell upon me. It fell into my life like a bomb. It was an enormous disruption; since winning it, I cannot write and the act of the writing was always my future.

“And so, to not be able to look forward to writing, is actually really painful to me. Yes, it’s a great recognition, a recognition of my work – I’ve been writing for 40 years.

“What touches me is not the prize itself, but my conversations with people – when they say to me that they see themselves when they read my work. It’s the feeling that the prize does not just belong to me, but to all of us; that matters to me.”

More here.