French author Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”
Mr. Modiano writes in a variety of genres, including detective mysteries, short, 100-page novels and screenplays. His first novel, “La place de l’étoile,” about Jewish collaborator during WWI, was published in France in 1968.
A Mom and Her Memories. This Nobel Prize winner also writes children’s books! Catherine Certitude, written with collaborator William Rodarmor and illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempe, was published in 2001, and tells the story of a mom and her memories.
While Catherine watches her own daughter practice dance, she reminiscences about her own childhood. Living in the tenth arrondissement of Paris, Catherine and her father Georges share the simple pleasures of daily life: sitting in the church square, walking to school, going to her ballet class every Thursday afternoon. A happy time in the City of Light.
However, the charming walk down memory lane brings up a lot of mystery:
- Why did Catherine’s change his name to Certitude?
- What kind of trouble with the law did his business partner Casterade rescue him from?
- Exactly what does Georges do, and what kind of deals is he always discussing with men in worn raincoats?
- Why did Catherine’s mother, herself a ballerina, leave Georges to return to New York?
These are just some of the mysteries Catherine remembers … and hopes to resolve as the story unfolds.