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The Nobel Prize In Literature Reveals Two Names

The Nobel winning week finally reached the realms of literature. Today the Swedish Academy had an exceptional opportunity to announce two winners of the Nobel Prize but not as it happened in 1974 when the prize was split by two writers (Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson). This year the Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, who won the postponed 2018 prize, and Austrian playwright and author Peter Handke for 2019.

As you remember, last year the Academy decided not to hand out the Nobel Prize in literature due to a sexual harassment scandal, which led to mass resignation and shattered trust in the Academy's legitimacy. 2018 was the first year after World War II when the literary prize was not awarded.

The Nobel Prize in literature 2018 was awarded to Olga Tokarczuk "“for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life”. Last year the writer has already won the International Booker prize for her novel Flights, and, as you have already noticed, her new novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead was added to the list of finalists for the International Booker Prize 2019.

This year's Nobel prize was handed to Peter Handke "“for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience”. He is famous for the play Über die Dörfer (Walk about the Villages) and particularly the novel Die Wiederholung (Repetition). However, many think this Academy's decision to be controversial, as Handke permanently expressed an open support to the late Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic charged with the crimes against humanity.

Since its institution in 1901, the Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to 114 authors. The winner receives the medal and 9 million kronor (about $918,000) at a special ceremony in Stockholm. This year it will be held on December 10.

Source: Press release. Nobel Media AB 2019. Thu. 10 Oct 2019. <>

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