Olga Tokarczuk to auction destroyed copies of her books in support of LGBTQ+ charities

Olga Tokarczuk to auction destroyed copies of her books in support of LGBTQ+ charities
Image: Martin J. Kraft under a CC license

24 June 2021

Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk is fighting back against Polish nationalists who destroyed copies of her works by auctioning torn books to support LGBTQ+ charities.

Protestors launched the social media campaign #OdeślijOldzeKsiążkę (#SendABookBackToOlga) after Tokarczuk criticised Poland’s conservative government.

In an interview, she told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that pandemic restrictions had helped the Polish government to suppress protests against the “barbaric” ban on abortion. She then brought up the repression of the pro-democracy movement in Belarus, saying: “Belarus is an example that regimes feel safer in the new global pandemic situation: a society that is afraid submits more easily to orders and prohibitions.”

The campaign encouraged protesters to destroy Tokarczuk’s books, leading the writer to receive copies with pages cut out or their covers defaced. But the movement struggled to gain speed, with just 31 books making their way back to the author.

The Olga Tokarczuk Foundation now says that the damaged copies will be auctioned to support LGBTQ+ charities in Poland.

“Shame on you,” the organisation wrote on Facebook, addressing protesters directly. “As promised: all of the books — primarily the mutilated ones — will go on auction. We will donate proceeds from it to organisations that support the LGBTQ+ community. The idea of helping people who are persecuted by people like you (and the system that you support) through the sale of pure evil symbols will see an even broader discussion on our pages.”

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