Tokarczuk, Olga

Tokarczuk, Olga, 1962–, Polish writer. Widely considered the foremost Polish novelist of her generation, she also is politically active and has been a frequent critic of Poland's right-wing government. After working as a psychologist, she turned to writing; she published her first novel in 1993. Her breakout success came with Prawiek i inne czasy (1996, tr. Primeval and Other Times, 2010), a novel with elements of magic realism that focuses on events in Polish village from World War I to the 1980s. Her next novel, Dom dzienny, dom nocny (1998, tr. House of Day, House of Night, 2003), mingles fiction and myth in its tale of a saint and her biographer. Bieguni (2007, tr. Flights, 2018, Man Booker International Prize) is a patchwork collection of 116 short tales involving characters who are traveling or displaced. Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych (2009, tr. Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, 2019) is a mystery story in which the dead seem to have been killed by the animals they hunted. Tokarczuk's lengthy novel set in 18th-century Poland, Księgi Jakubowe [the books of Jacob] (2014), was a best-seller and won Poland's prestigious Nike Award. She has also written a number of other novels as well as short-story and essay collections. Tokarczuk was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Russian and Eastern European Literature: Biographies