Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (born 13 April 1940), usually identified as J. M. G. Le Clézio, is a French author, professor, and Nobel laureate.
Le Clézio has been writing since the age of seven; his first work was a book about the sea. He achieved very early success at age 23 when his first novel "Le Procès-Verbal" ("The Interrogation") earned him the Prix Renaudot and was shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt. Since then he has published more than thirty-six books, including short stories, novels, essays, two translations on the subject of Native American mythology, and several children's books.
From 1963 to 1975, Le Clézio explored themes such as insanity, language, and writing. He devoted himself to formal experimentation in the wake of such contemporaries as Georges Perec or Michel Butor. His persona was that of an innovator and a rebel, for which he was praised by Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze.
During the late 1970s, Le Clézio's style changed drastically; he abandoned experimentation, and the mood of his novels became less tormented as he used themes like childhood, adolescence, and traveling, which attracted a broader, more popular audience. In 1980, Le Clézio was the first winner of the newly created Grand Prix Paul Morand, awarded by the Académie Française, for his novel "Désert". In 1994, a survey conducted by the French literary magazine Lire showed that 13 percent of the readers considered him to be the greatest living French language writer.