One of the most popular French authors, Patrick Modiano has put together an enigmatic, interconnected series of novels that each charts an original path between fiction and autobiography. Nearly all of his books have been bestsellers and several have won important prizes (including a Prix Goncourt in 1978 for Rue des Boutiques Obscures ), yet critics—for success invites disparagement in France, as elsewhere—have generally and rightfully praised his work, which is deceptively simple in style and profound in its implications. For all their charm and intimist texture, Modiano’s writings raise fundamental questions about history, personal identity, artistic inspiration and existential anguish.