Translation into free English (not literal) of a telephone interview in French with Patrick Modiano following the announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, 9 October 2014. The interviewer is Hélène Hernmarck of Nobel Media.
[Patrick Modiano] Hello.
[Hélène Hernmarck] Yes, Hello, sincere congratulations on receiving the Nobel Prize.
[PM] You're very kind and I'm very touched.
[HH] My name is Hélène and I'm calling from Nobelprize.org. Thank you for giving us the time to ask you a few questions.
[PM] Ah, yes, yes, yes.
[HH] Where were you when you received the news?
[PM] I was actually in the street. Yes, I was in the street. It was my daughter who notified me.
[HH] Oh your daughter called you on your mobile?
[PM] Yes, yes, yes. I was very touched. It gave me even greater pleasure because I have a Swedish grandson.
[HH] Where were you, in the centre of Paris? In which particular street?
[PM] Oh, I was just next to the Jardin de Luxembourg.
[HH] Oh, wonderful. What does it mean to you to receive the Nobel Prize, what does it signify?
[PM] First of all … so unexpected, it's something I never thought I would receive … it really touched me. It's made me very emotional.
[HH] You've been a writer for a long time. Why do you write?
[PM] Well, I started very early, in my twenties. It's becoming a long time now. It's something natural, it's something that's part of my life.
[HH] You've written 20 or 30 books. Is there a certain book that you take greater pleasure in, which signifies more to you than the others?
[PM] Listen, it's difficult. I always have the impression that I write the same book. Which means it's already 45 years that I've been writing the same book in a discontinuous manner. You don't really know your reader.
[HH] Now that you will become world famous which book would you recommend everyone to read?
[PM] Yes, I always have the impression that's the last book I write.
[HH] What's the title?
[PM] It's called Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier.
[HH] Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier?
[PM] Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier.It's about losing perspective within your surroundings. The last book is always the one I recommend because it leaves you …
[HH] Wishing for more?
[PM] Yes, yes.
[HH] Are you going to celebrate tonight with the whole family?
[PM] Yes, yes, I want to be with my family. Yes. Yes, with my Swedish grandson that gives me so much pleasure and loves me a lot. It's to him I dedicate this Prize. It is, after all, from his country.
[HH] Are you coming to Sweden in December?
[PM] Yes, yes, certainly!
[HH] With the whole family?
[PM] Yes, yes. [Laughs]
[HH] Do you have a big family?
[PM] No, not really, I just have two daughters and a grandson. So not a big family.
[HH] Thank you very much and once again congratulations.
[PM] Thank you. I hope what I've told you is not too confusing?
[HH] No, no, not at all. Have a great evening and warm congratulations again from Sweden and Nobelprize.org.
[PM] Oh, I'm so touched.