The 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes in literature have been awarded to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk who took home the 2018 Prize for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life. While the 2019 Nobel prize went to Austrian author Peter Handke for his influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.
Olga Tokarczuk was born 1962 in Sulechów in Poland, and today lives in Wrocław. She made her debut as a fiction writer 1993 with ‘Podróz ludzi Księgi’ (‘The Journey of the Book-People’).
Her breakthrough came with her third novel ‘Prawiek i inne czasy’ 1996 (‘Primeval and Other Times’, 2010). The magnum opus of Tokarczuk is the impressive historical novel ‘Księgi Jakubowe’ 2014 (‘The Books of Jacob’).
Peter Handke on the other hand, was born 1942 in a village named Griffen, located in the region Kärnten in southern Austria. His debut novel ‘Die Hornissen’ was published in 1966. He has established himself as one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War.
The shortlist was made of eight names of which two were picked for the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prize awards, said Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy.
With the glory comes a 9-million kronor ($918,000) cash award to be shared a gold medal and a diploma. The laureates receive them at an elegant ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10 the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896 together with five other Nobel winners. The sixth one, the peace prize, is handed out in Oslo, Norway on the same day.
The Nobel Prizes in literature both for 2019 and that of last year, 2018 were announced on Thursday 10th October 2019 after the 2018 literature award was postponed following sex abuse allegations that had rocked the Swedish Academy.
This also comes after the chemistry prize was announced on Wednesday to three scientists for their work leading to the development of lithium-ion batteries. That was a day after the physics award was given to a Canadian-American and two Swiss, and on Monday the Physiology or Medicine award went to two Americans and one British scientist.
So far, nine Nobel prizes have been awarded this week and all the laureates are men.
The coveted Nobel Peace Prize is Friday and the economics award on Monday.#nobelprize