European writers awarded Nobel in literature

Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke took 2018 and 2019 prizes respectively

After a gap of one year the Literature Nobel returned on the stage last Thursday with Poland's Olga Tokarczuk and Austria's Peter Handke awarded the 2018 and 2019 prizes respectively, news wires reported. Two Nobels were awarded this year after last yearчs prize was postponed over a scandal. Since then, the Nobel organisation has appointed new members and reformed some of its rules after a rare intervention by its royal patron, the king of Sweden.

Thus the 2018 prize went to Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, 57, for “a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life,” the Academy said in a statement. Trained as a psychologist before publishing her first novel in 1993, since then she has produced a steady and varied stream of works. Her novel “Flight” won her the high-profile Man Booker International Prize in 2018, the first Polish author to get it. But at the same time, Tokarczuk has courted controversy in her native Poland by touching on dark areas of the countrys past that contrast with the version of history promoted by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Austria's Peter Handke, 76, won the 2019 Nobel Prize for “an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.” Handke has established himself as one of the most influential writers in Europe after World War Two, with a huge variety of work that contains novels, essays, notebooks and dramatic works. He is also known for co-writing the script of the critically-acclaimed 1987 film “Wings of Desire”.

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