Olga Tokarczuk Wins Man Booker International Prize for 'Flights'

25 May, 2018, 10:00 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • Olga Tokarczuk

Appignanesi said: " Tokarczuk is a writer of wonderful wit, imagination and literary panache.

Tokarczuk shared the prize of £50,000 (S$67,000) with the book's English-language translator, Jennifer Croft. Still, the 56-year-old author counts among Poland's top writers.

Lauded by judges as exploring the "contemporary condition of perpetual movement", its 17th-century focus tells the story of Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, who dissected and drew pictures of his own amputated leg, discovering in doing so the Achilles tendon.

More than 100 books were submitted for the 2018 prize, which celebrates the best in translated fiction from across the globe.

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Tokarczuk is an award-winning author of eight novels and two short-story collections.

The book "Flights" also won the popular Nike Award 2008.

In her 2014 novel "The Book of Jacob" she presented the Polish audience with a very different historical reality than the one usually celebrated, that of harmonious Polish-Jewish relations as coined by Polish national poet Adam Mickiewicz.

Flights beat five other finalists, including Iraqi writer Ahmed Saadawi's horror story Frankenstein in Baghdad and South Korean author Han Kang's meditative novel The White Book. And on national television in 2014, she said Poland had committed "horrendous acts" of colonisation at times in its history, leading to her publisher having to hire bodyguards to protect her. She has been criticised by Polish conservatives and received death threats for criticising aspects of the country's past, including its episodes of anti-Semitism.

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