OREANDA-NEWSThe Swedish Academy announced the awarding of the Nobel Prizes in Literature for 2018 and 2019 (in 2018, the prize wasn't awarded due to the dissolution of the Nobel Committee for Literature against a backdrop of sexual scandal). The 2018 Nobel Prize winner was the Polish writer and poetess Olga Tokarchuk, the 2019 Prize winner was the Austrian writer and playwright Peter Handke.

The Tokarchuk Prize, born in a family of immigrants from Ukraine, was awarded with the wording “for the narrative imagination, which with encyclopedic passion represents border crossing as a life form”. In 2018, Tokarchuk became the first writer from Poland to receive the international Booker Prize for the novel Runners. She is also the winner of a number of other Polish and international literary prizes.

Peter Handke was previously criticized for supporting the Slobodan Milosevic regime. In 2006, Handke spoke at the funeral of the former leader of Serbia, after which the stage version of the writer’s play “Playing Questions or Traveling in the Clear Lands” at the Comédie-Française Theater in Paris was canceled. In the same year, the writer refused the Heinrich Heine Prize, which was associated with the threat of losing the award by decision of the Düsseldorf authorities, which determine the winner.