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.