Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker International Prize

Olga Tokarczuk wins Man Booker International Prize

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk has won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for Flights (trans by Jennifer Croft, Text). The Man Booker International Prize celebrates the English translations of works of international literature.

Tokarczuk will evenly split the 50,000 pound prize [66,750 USD] with her translator to English Jennifer Croft, reported The Guardian.

Flights is a novel of linked fragments, from the 17th century to the present day, connected by themes of travel and human anatomy.

She most recently co-wrote the screenplay for "Spoor", a Polish crime film that won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2017 Berlin film festival and was nominated as Poland's entry for the award for best foreign language film at the 2018 Oscars. Her first book, a collection of poems, was published in 1989. This award brought her novel Flights. "I'm happy to be the trailblazer", she said. In 2015, she fled overseas for several weeks after receiving death threats for a book in which she questioned Poland's historical record.

Literary critics in Poland said the prize opens the doors for Tokarczuk's works into the vast English-language literary world, and that some of her other novels are being translated into English.

The panel, which included German poet and translator Michael Hofmann, author Hari Kunzru, journalist Tim Martin and author Helen Oyeyemi, said Flights was "also about never leaving your body, which itself is in movement and is going to die".

The book had echoes of writers W.G. Sebald and Milan Kundera, she added, but Tokarczuk "inhabits a rebellious, playful register very much her own".

Tokarczuk is a celebrated author in her home country of Poland, having written several successful books and won multiple literary awards including the Nike Award in 2008, Poland's highest literary honor, for the same novel.

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