Tokarczuk, Olga, 1962–, Polish writer. Widely considered the foremost Polish novelist of her generation, she also is politically active and has been a frequent critic of Poland's right-wing government. After working as a psychologist, she turned to writing; she published her first novel in 1993. Her breakout success came with Prawiek i inne czasy (1996, tr. Primeval and Other Times, 2010), a novel with elements of magic realism that focuses on events in Polish village from World War I to the 1980s. Her next novel, Dom dzienny, dom nocny (1998, tr. House of Day, House of Night, 2003), mingles fiction and myth in its tale of a saint and her biographer. Bieguni (2007, tr. Flights, 2018) is a patchwork collection of 116 short tales involving characters who are traveling or displaced; it won the Man Booker International Prize in 2018. Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych (2009, tr. Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, 2019) is a mystery story in which the dead seem to have been killed by the animals they hunted. Tokarczuk's lengthy novel set in 18th-century Poland, Księgi Jakubowe [the books of Jacob] (2014), was a best-seller and won Poland's prestigious Nike Award. She has also written a number of other novels as well as short-story and essay collections. Tokarczuk was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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