The Nobel Prizes for Literature were awarded on Thursday in Stockholm to the authors Olga Tokarczuk and Peter Handke. They won for the year 2018 and 2019 respectively.
The Polish author Tokarczuk was awarded for her "narrative imagination with which she portrays boundaries as a life form with an encyclopedic passion." The 57-year-old writer already won the Man Booker International Prize for De Rustelozen in 2018. De Jacobsboeken appeared in the Netherlands earlier this year.
The books and play texts of the Austrian writer Handke are described by the committee as "influential work that has investigated the periphery and specificity of human experiences with linguistic ingenuity." Handke wrote The fear of the goalkeeper for the penalty kick and Ongezocht Ongeluk: A story .
In addition to books and plays, he also released films. For example, he filmed his own book Die linkshändige Frau , with which he was nominated for a Golden Palm. He also wrote the script of Der Himmel über Berlin together with Wim Wenders.
First time there are two winners
It is the first time in the history of the award that two winners will be awarded simultaneously. The prestigious literature prize was not awarded in 2018, due to a sex scandal surrounding the husband of committee member Katarina Frostenson.
Jean-Claude Arnault, a French photographer, was accused by 18 women of sexual harassment and abuse in 2018. In October he was sentenced to two years in prison. He was discredited earlier when it appeared that he had leaked the names of Nobel Prize winners for years.
The Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded since 1901. In 2017, the award was awarded to the Japanese writer Kazuo Ishiguro. Before that he went to Bob Dylan (2016), JM Coetzee (2003), Günter Grass (1999), Gabriel García Márquez (1982) and Samuel Beckett (1969). A Dutch author has never won the prestigious prize.