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Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio
Le Clezio -- who's he?

If the selection of French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio as the 2008 Nobel literature laureate has anything to tell us, it's that Horace Engdahl means what he says. Last week, Engdahl, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, called American literary culture "too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature" -- comments widely seen in the United States as evidence of the insularity of the Nobel itself and proof that American writers would be shut out again. The last American to win the prize was Toni Morrison in 1993; since then, recipients have included Poland's Wislawa...

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