Nobel Prize In Literature: 5 things you need to know about 2018 winner Olga Tokarczuk

Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 13:40 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

If you're planning to give her books a try, then do take a look at some interesting things about her books and her life

Olga Tokarczuk. Pic courtesy/AFP
Olga Tokarczuk. Pic courtesy/AFP

On October 10th, the Nobel Committee announced Olga Tokarczuk as the 2018 recipient of the prize. According to the organisers, Tokarczuk won the prize for "a narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life." If you're planning to give her books a try, then do take a look at some interesting things about her books and her life.

Both her parents were teachers

Her father, Józef Tokarczuk, was also serving as the school librarian. So you can credit him for giving young Olga a fertile place to discover her love for literature.

She trained as a psychologist at the University of Warsaw

She really wanted to help people and that is why she chose to become a psychologist. At University of Warsaw, she became heavily influenced by the work of Carl Jung, and the fascination did have an influence on her written work as well.

After working as a psychologist for five years, she realized that she was too fragile for the job

She worked in a hospital for five years (helping addicts recover) but she left her job after realizing that she was too fragile to continue. "I was working with one of my patients and realised I was much more disturbed than he was," she said in an interview with The Guardian.

Just recently, she won the Man Booker International Prize for her novel 'Flights'

By doing so, she became the first Polish author to be given the honour. 'Flights' is an interesting novel structurally as it is composed of 116 short pieces narrated by a nameless female traveller.

Her translator knew she was destined to win the prize; she's been waiting for years

She would be telling her publishers for years even when they did not believe her. "I’ve been saying it for years! Every fall, the big night would come and I would set my alarm for four or six or eight in the morning, depending on my time zone, and then not sleep because I was sure Olga Tokarczuk would win the Nobel Prize in Literature. This year it happened! At 4 A.M," her translator Jennifer Croft wrote in an article for The Paris Review.

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