Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk received the Prize for 2019 and Prize for 2018 respectively.

Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk
Austrian novelist and playwright Peter Handke and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk

OLGA TOKARCZUK

According to the Nobel Academy, Olga Tokarczuk received the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life. Last year, she became the first Polish writer to win the Man Booker International Prize for her novel Flights, about travel in the 21st century, borders and human anatomy. This year, her newly translated book, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, has been short-listed for the same prize; the story is a thrilling murder mystery in which horoscopes help solve homicides.

PETER HANDKE

The Noble Academy said, Peter Handke received the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience. The Academy added that his works contain a strong adventurous spirit” and a “nostalgic inclination” — especially in the drama, Walk About the Villages, and the novel, Repetition. His writing “shows and unending quest for existential meaning. The Academy also praises A Sorrow Beyond Dreams, the “short and harsh, but deeply affectionate book” written about his mother’s suicide.