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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Literature has no borders: Polish Nobel laureate

20.10.2019 21:00
Literature has no borders and brings people across cultures and nations together, Polish Nobel Prize-winning writer Olga Tokarczuk said on Sunday.
Nobel Prize-winning writer Olga Tokarczuk speaks at a meeting with readers in the southwestern Polish city of Wrocław on Sunday.
Nobel Prize-winning writer Olga Tokarczuk speaks at a meeting with readers in the southwestern Polish city of Wrocław on Sunday.Photo: PAP/Sebastian Borowski

She was speaking at a meeting with readers after she was earlier this month named the 2018 winner of the Nobel literature prize "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.”

Addressing a packed auditorium in the southwestern Polish city of Wrocław on Sunday, Tokarczuk said that literature was a unique, powerful form of communication that reached deep into people’s hearts and minds across national borders, languages and cultures.

Tokarczuk has previously told Polish broadcaster TVN that she was proud her books could be read universally and appeal to people around the world.

Tokarczuk’s meeting with readers on Sunday marked her first public appearance in her native Poland since she won the world’s most prestigious literary award on October 10, along with a cheque for almost USD 1 million.

A big crowd of fans filled the 1,800-seat National Forum of Music venue in downtown Wrocław to hear the writer’s remarks. Hundreds of others gathered outdoors to watch the event on a giant screen.

The Polish Nobel laureate receives a standing ovation at the packed National Forum of Music venue in downtown Wrocław. Photo: PAP/Sebastian Borowski The Polish Nobel laureate receives a standing ovation at the packed National Forum of Music venue in downtown Wrocław. Photo: PAP/Sebastian Borowski

Tokarczuk’s books have won international praise from critics and proved popular with the reading public.

The Swedish Academy behind the Nobel Prize listed Tokarczuk’s historical novel The Books of Jacob as her "magnum opus."

Meanwhile, her novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead has made the longlist for the 2019 National Book Award, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the United States.

The novel, described by its American publisher Random House as a “thriller cum fairy tale,” has been nominated in the Translated Literature category along with nine other books by international authors.

The winners of this year’s National Book Awards will be announced in New York on November 20.

(gs)

Source: TVN, PAP