STOCKHOLM: Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian novelist Peter Handke have been named the 2018 and 2019 winners of Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced on Thursday. The prize was postponed last year for the first time in 70 years after the academy was hit by a sexual assault scandal at the height of the MeToo Movement, leaving the institution paralysed.
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.
The Polish writer was described by the Swedish Academy as someone who “never views reality as something stable or everlasting. She constructs her novels in a tension between cultural opposites; nature versus culture, reason versus madness, male versus female, home versus alienation”.
Olga Tokarczuk, the 15th woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize, has won the International Booker Prize in 2018.
Peter Handke, who once called for the Nobel Literature Prize to be abolished, won “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience,” it said.
The academy praised Peter Handke’s work which, it said, “is the extraordinary attention to landscapes and the material presence of the world, which has made cinema and painting two of his greatest sources of inspiration.
Both winners will receive 9 million Swedish kronor ($912,000) each, along with a medal and a diploma at a formal ceremony in Sweden on December 10, the death anniversary of dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, the creator of the Nobel Prizes.– Agencies