Building peace in the minds of men and women

Irina Bokova congratulates Patrick Modiano, Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature

"I congratulate Patrick Modiano for this award, which crowns a work of rare density. Each of Modiano’s books - La Place de l’étoile, Dans le Café de la Jeunesse and many more ... - is an exploration of the mysteries of time and memory, showing the ability of a literary style to restore the fragility of memory, in a long tradition that stems from the ancient art of memory to Marcel Proust," said the Director-General.

"This award touches upon the mandate and work of UNESCO, because it rewards a profound meditation on peace and the power of literature to heal the wounds of a country and a city - Paris - affected by war, and a difficult childhood, marked by grief and abandonment. Through books, through culture, individuals can rebuild their lives and look to the future."

On behalf of UNESCO, and in my own name, I wish to express my great admiration and sincere congratulations to Patrick Modiano.