One of Poland’s most prominent authors has been named as the winner of this year’s prestigious Man Booker International Prize.
Olga Tokarczuk scooped the £50,000 prize for her novel, Flights, along with her translator, Jennifer Croft.
More than 100 books were submitted for the 2018 prize, which celebrates the best in translated fiction from across the globe.
With a flowing web of different stories taken from across the ages, Flights explores life, death, and migration through the eyes of Polish musician Frédéric Chopin, a North African-born slave turned Austrian courtier, and a young husband whose wife and child mysteriously vanish during a holiday on a Croatian island.
Judges praised the book’s unusual narrative and bright characters. “We loved the voice of the narrative,” said head judge Lisa Appignanesi. “[It] moves from wit and gleeful mischief to real emotional texture.”
Tokarczuk is one of Poland’s most popular writers but has also been heavily crticized by nationalists for her writing. In 2015, she fled abroad for several weeks after receiving death threats for a book in which she questioned Poland’s historical record.
To read an extract from Flights, published in The Calvert Journal, click here.