Posted on February 3, 2022 at 12:50 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Nobel Prize laureate Olga Tokarczuk's novel The Books of Jacob is finally available in English.

Though it was written in 2014 and set centuries ago, it may feel eerily contemporary for some readers — centering on, as it does, a charismatic leader who excites the masses and alarms the authorities.

Tokarczuk and her longtime translator, Jennifer Croft, appeared on NPR's Weekend Edition to discuss how Tokarczuk found first the title character, Jacob Frank, and then the characters surrounding him who tell the story.

They also call attention to the novel's mixed reception from Poland in 2014 and what Tokarczuk says that reflects about her home country.

Tokarczuk has become one of the most prominent Polish writers of her generation, winning the Man Booker International Prize for Flights and, a year later, the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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