Posted on October 10, 2019 at 7:31 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Two authors received the Nobel Prize in Literature this morning.

Olga Tokarczuk won the delayed 2018 award, and Peter Handke won this year’s award.

First, a bit about the authors, though you can head to the bottom to read why we have two winners this morning.

The judges cited Tokarczuk’s “narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life” in honoring her.

The Polish author is a bestseller in her native country, according to the Guardian, and has won a number of awards across Europe, including Poland’s top literary prize for Flights and The Books of Jacob.

In terms of recognition in the English-reading world, she received the 2018 International Booker Award for Flights and a 2019 National Book Award longlist nod for Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

As for Handke, the committee praised him for “an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”

Among those works: the novel The Hornets, the play Offending the Audience, and the screenplay for the movie Wings of Desire.

The seventy-six-year-old Handke has also, according to his publisher, received a number of prizes throughout his career.

And now for the refresher on or explanation of why we have two winners this year

The 2018 prize was put on hold partly because of sexual-harassment allegations against photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, whose wife was on the Nobel committee.

Some of the reported incidents took place occurred at properties owned by the Swedish Academy, which administers the Nobel prizes.

Arnault was convicted of rape last fall and ultimately sentenced to two years and six months in prison, in addition to being fined.

This spring, the academy confirmed that members associated with last year’s scandals — including the sexual-harassment one, but also one regarding the inability to resign from the committee — are no longer part of the organization.

Categories: Today in Books

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