Olga Tokarczuk wins 2018 Man Booker Prize

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and British translator Jennifer Croft

Award-winning and bestselling Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, and her translator, Jennifer Croft, won the Man Booker International Prize for the novel Flights, which was published in English by Riverhead Books. Originally published in Poland in 2007 and awarded that country’s highest literary prize, the Nike, the tales of travel and anatomy in this novel span the 17th century to the present and include the journey of Chopin’s heart from Paris to Warsaw.

The prestigious Man Booker Prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm that aims to recognize and reward contemporary literature. The prize of £50,000 is open to books in any language that are published in the UK and translated into English.

In addition to Flights, Olga Tokarczuk has also written and published a collection of poems, eight novels, and two short-story collections, and is a very popular writer in Poland. In 2018 Tokarczuk will for the first time serve as the librettist for a new opera, based loosely on her novel Anna In w grobowcach świata. Composed by Aleksander Nowak, the opera entitled ahat ilī – Sister of the Gods will premiere on 16 September 2018 at the final concert of the Sacrum Profanum Festival in Kraków. Originally written in Polish, the opera will be performed in several languages: modern English for the human characters, and selected ancient languages – Acadian, Latin, ancient Greek, Proto-Slavic and Aztec – for the gods and demons. According to the Festival’s website, “the premiere of ahat ilī – Sister of the Gods will be a pivotal moment for contemporary Polish music” and tickets are on sale now.

[Sources: pwm.com.pl, themanbookerprize.com, sacrumprofanum.com]