A Retrospective Exhibition Of Their Manuscripts

One of France's leading authors, J. M. G. Le Clezio has published novels, short story collections and essays that have earned worldwide recognition. Born in Nice, France, and raised in a bilingual household, Le Clezio moved to England to pursue his education at the University of Bristol and later the University of London. While completing his undergraduate degree, Le Clezio published his first book, The Interrogation (Le Process-Verbal), in 1963. Le Clezio obtained his degree from the Institut d'etudes Litteraires in Nice in 1963 and the following year received an M. A. From the University of Aix-en-Provence. He later completed doctoral studies in Mexican history at the University of Perpignan in 1983.

Other books followed: including Terra Amata(1967), the short story collection Fever/La fievre (1968), War/La guerre (1970), and The Giants/Les geantes (1973). Le Clezio solidified his standing as an important author with the publication of the novel Desert (1980), which contrasted the massacre of a nomadic tribe in North Africa at the hands of the French colonials with the tale of a contemporary woman, a descendent of those nomads, returning to their homeland.

Over the years, Le Clezio developed an interest in the native peoples of Central America; and several of his essay collections and later novels reflect this interest. He lived among the Embera tribe in Panama in the late 1960s and early 1970s and recounted his experiences in Hae (1971). His other works along this line include Trois Villes Saintes (1980) and The Mexican Dream/ Le reve mexicain ou la pensee inerrompue (1988).

Since the mid-1980s, Le Clezio's novels have mined family history and his childhood memories. The Prospector/Le chercheur d'or (1985) was based in part on the experiences oh is paternal grandfather. He has continued to draw on this vein, juxtaposing stories of his ancestors with incidents drawn from his own life, in works like Onitsha (1991), La quarantaine (1995), Revolutions (2003), L'Africain, a book about his father (2004), and Ritournelle de la faim, a book about his mother (2008).

Le Clezio has taught in colleges and universities around the world including Buddhist University in Bangkok, Thailand, the University of Mexico, and Boston University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2008.

This exhibition is no longer on view.

Sue Miller
Jean-Marie-Gustave-Le-Clezio