Nobel Prizes In Literature Go To Peter Handke And Olga Tokarczuk

Lawrence Kim
October 10, 2019

Tokarczuk, 57, is one of Poland's best-known authors.

Handke was an opponent of NATO's airstrikes against Serbia in the Kosovo war of the late 1990s and spoke in 2006 at the funeral of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Olga Tokarczuk, author of 'Ksiegi Jakubowe' ('The Books of Jacob'), won the prize for "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life", the jury said. Olga Tokarczuk's third novel "Prawiek i inne czasy' which came in 1996 was a breakthrough". The official stated that 2019 Literature Laureate Handke's "influential work with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and specificity of human experience".

Some of his works include the drama Über die Dörfer 1981 (Walk about the Villages, 2015), the novel Die Wiederholung, 1986 (Repetition, 1988) and the novel Die Obstdiebin oder Einfache Fahrt ins Landesinnere (2017). Both authors have been reached by phone to get the happy news.

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian writer Peter Handke have won Nobel Prizes for Literature after a sexual assault scandal forced the secretive awarding body to postpone crowning a laureate in 2018.

Permanent Secretary Mats Malm.

The Nobel Foundation had warned that another group could be picked to award the prize if the academy didn't improve its tarnished image, but said in March it was satisfied the Swedish Academy had revamped itself and restored trust. More than 50 years later, having produced a great number of works in different genres, 2019 Literature Laureate Peter Handke has established himself as one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War. Of the 11 Nobels awarded so far this week, all the other laureates have been men. Arnault was also suspected of violating century-old Nobel rules by leaking names of winners of the prestigious award; allegedly seven times, starting in 1996.

It began with sexual assault allegations against Frenchman Jean-Claude Arnault (who has since been jailed for rape). Arnault is married to an Academy member and ran a cultural club that received funding from the body.

Katarina Frostenson's resignation was followed by that of six other members, including then permanent secretary Sara Danius. This created problems since members are in theory appointed for life and unable to leave their positions.

The academy has reformed itself after sex abuse allegations that led to a mass exodus of committee members and the ouster of then-Permanent Secretary Sara Danius, resulting in no prize being awarded a year ago for the first time since 1943 at the height of World War II.

You can find a more detailed explanation here.

Two Nobel Prizes in literature - one for 2019 and one for past year - will be announced Thursday after the 2018 literature award was postponed following sex abuse allegations that had rocked the Swedish Academy. The academy was founded way back in 1786 by King Gustaf III, tasked with promoting the "purity, strength and sublimity of the Swedish language".

Born in Sulechow in western Poland, she is considered one of the major figures in global literature as translation has brought her work to a wider readership.

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