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Polish, Austrian writers win Nobels

October 11, 2019

STOCKHOLM: Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk on Thursday won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, which was delayed over a sexual harassment scandal, while Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke took the 2019 award, the Swedish Academy said.

This combination of pictures created on October 10, 2019 shows Polish author Olga Tokarczuk (L) on September 17, 2018 in Krakow and Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke on November 22, 2012 in Salzburg, Austria. Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk on October 10, 2019 won the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize, which was delayed over a sexual harassment scandal, while Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke took the 2019 award, the Swedish Academy said. Peter Handke was awarded the 2019 Nobel Literature Prize on October 10, 2019. – Austria OUT / AFP / REPORTER / APA / Beata ZAWREL AND BARBARA GINDL

Tokarczuk, considered the most talented Polish novelist of her generation, was honored “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.”

Her books portray a polychromatic world perpetually in motion, with characters’ traits intermingled and language that is both precise and poetic.

Handke meanwhile won “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience,” the Academy said.

Handke “has established himself as one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War.”

His works are filled with a strong desire to discover and to make his discoveries come to life by finding new literary expressions for them, the Academy said.

Tokarczuk and Handke each take home a check worth 9 million kronor ($912,000, 828,000 euros).

Tokarczuk becomes just the 15th woman to have won the prestigious distinction, out of 116 literature laureates honoured since 1901.

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