Author Profile: Olga Tokarczuk

Author Profile:  Olga Tokarczuk is a Polish writer, activist and public intellectual.

Name: Olga Tokarczuk

Timeline:

1996 – Primeval and other times

1998 – House of Day, House of Night

2007 – Flights

2009 – Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

2014 – The Books of Jacob

White Soup, Spoor and Aria Diva are Olga Tokarczuk’s movies.

Background: Olga Tokarczuk was born on 29th January 1962, in Sulechow, Poland. She is 58 years old. She is married to Roman Fingas. In Poland, she has been a best-selling author for decades.

Olga grew up in a progressive intellectual family. Her parents were teachers. She studied psychology later at the University of Warsaw. It was here that she gained keen interest in Carl Jung’s writings. In 1985 she graduated, took up a clinical psychologist job but after becoming disillusioned by the work, she quit, travelled to London where she did odd jobs there. She came back to Poland and in 1989 she published a book of poetry.

Genre: Olga Tokarczuk is well known for her complex and wry novels that leap between mythologies, centuries, perspectives and places. In 2019, she received the Nobel Prize for Literature where she was praised for her narrative imagination which represented the crossing of boundaries as a life with encyclopaedic passion.

As an extraordinary woman and author she dared to bring to the forefront, gender equality and many other issues, right from waging a rebellion, reimagining the world, breaking rules or overcoming oppression.

Literary Contributions: Flights, her novel has won her the Man Booker International Prize, in 2018. She has also won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

She wrote her first novel ‘The Journey of the Book-People (1993) and won the Polish Publisher’s Prize for best Debut. Primeval and Other Times (1996) is her third book which established her as a crucial voice in Poland and an imaginative author as well. She published ‘House of Day, House of Night’ in 1998 which she calls as fragmented narratives or ‘constellations novels’.

She has co-written the script for ‘Pokot’ a feature film (2017) in addition to her literary works.

Unique Stylistic Features: In Poland Olga Tokarczuk has been described as one of the most commercial successful and most critically acclaimed authors of her generation.

After she won the Man Booker International Prize in 2018 for her novel Flights (2017) she instantly became well known outside her homeland. Till then she was the first author in Poland to win the Man Booker Prize.

In 2018, this Polish novelist was one of the biggest stars in the Literature field. The novel put her directly on the map. Somersaulting through space and time, her stories passionately make a plea for connectedness. The Books of Jacob, her historical epic and one of the biggest literary bestseller in Polish history and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead have been the next in line for publication.

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