On 10th October, the Swedish Academy announced that Olga Tokarczuk – a Honorary Citizen of Wroclaw – had become the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature for the year 2018. Tokarczuk is the second Polish woman and the first female writer that has received the most important literary prize in the world.
Olga Tokarczuk has already won the Nike Literary Award twice and the International Booker Prize for her novel Flights [Bieguni] translated into English by Jennifer Croft in 2018.
Born in Sulechów, she is a psychologist by education. Today she is one of the most famous female prose writers. Her debut novel The Journey of the Book-People [Podróż ludzi księgi] was published in 1993 and followed by E.E. Her third novel Primeval and Other Times [Prawiek i inne czasy] brought her huge recognition and success (she won the Polityka Passport award for it).
After this, she wrote House of Day, House of Night [Dom dzienny, dom nocny] inspired by the history of Nowa Ruda and the Sudetes. Apart from that, she has published such books as Playing On Many Drums [Gra na wielu bębenkach], Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead [Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych] (nominated for the Nike Award), The Books of Jacob [Księgi Jakubowe] and Flights – she received the Nike Literary Award for the last two novels. Five books by Tokarczuk won also the Nike readers’ award five times.
Other distinctions for Tokarczuk include being shortlisted for the National Book Award – one of the most important American literary awards, the Kulturhuset International Literary Prize in Stockholm for The Books of Jacob in 2017, and the French Prix Laure Bataillon Award for the best foreign-language book translated into French.
Olga Tokarczuk received the Nobel Prize for the year 2018, in which no literary prize had been awarded due to a moral scandal. The scandals resulted in mass resignations of members of the Swedish Academy. They were replaced with new persons and a decision was made to establish a special Nobel Committee with external experts.