The Swedish Academy announced the winners for both the 2018 and the 2019 Nobel Prizes in Literature on Thursday honoring Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk with last year’s award and naming Austrian author Peter Handke as this year’s Nobel Laureate for literature.
In a statement, the Academy said Tokarczuk received the prize “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.”
Austrian writer Handke was honored for this year’s award “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 is awarded to the Polish author Olga Tokarczuk. The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019 is awarded to the Austrian author Peter Handke.#NobelPrize pic.twitter.com/CeKNz1oTSB
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 10, 2019
15th woman to win literature prize
Swedish Academy permanent secretary Mats Malm said that both winners had been notified of the news. Tokarczuk found out while driving in Germany where she is on a lecture tour, while Handke was reached at his home.
Tokarczuk, 57, trained as a psychologist before publishing her first novel in 1993. Her novel “Flight” won the Man Booker International Prize last year. Tokarczuk is only the 15th woman to win the Nobel literature prize in the history of the award.
Handke is regarded as one of the most influential and controversial writers to emerge in Europe following World War II. The 76-year-old’s body of work includes essays, notebooks, dramatic works and novels. He’s also know for co-writing the script of the critically-acclaimed 1987 film “Wings of Desire.”
Prizes follow Nobel scandal
The awarding of the 2018 prize had been delayed by a year after a sexual assault scandal and allegations of corruption rocked the Academy.
The prize comes with a 9-million kronor (€829,500; $918,000) cash award as well as a gold medal and diploma.
Both laureates will attend an elegant award ceremony in Stockholm on December 10 — the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896 — to receive their awards.