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Olga Tokarczuk, Peter Handke Win Nobel Prize In Literature

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The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2019 was awarded to Austrian novelist Peter Handke.

The previous year's award in this category was given to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk.

The Swedish Academy announced the 2018 and 2019 Nobel literature prizes on Thursday because last year's prize was postponed over a sexual harassment scandal.

The Academy said Peter Handke was selected "for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience."

Olga Tokarczuk was honored "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life."

Olga made her debut as a fiction writer in 1993 with Podróz ludzi Ksiegi, or "The Journey of the Book-People".

Her real breakthrough came with her third novel Prawiek i inne czasy, or Primeval and Other Times, which is an excellent example of the new Polish literature after 1989.

The magnum opus of Olga is the impressive historical novel Ksiegi Jakubowe ("The Books of Jacob"), written in 2014 after devoting several years of historical research. It portrays the mysterious life of Jacob Frank, the charismatic 18th century sect leader.

Olga, 57, is also an activist and public intellectual who has been described as one of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful authors of her generation. In 2018, she won the Man Booker International Prize for her novel Flights, becoming the first Polish writer to do so.

Peter Handke is also a playwright, poet and translator. His writings about the Yugoslav Wars and subsequent NATO bombing of Yugoslavia with criticism of the Western position and his speech at the funeral of Slobodan Miloševic have caused controversy. He has also won the Georg Büchner Prize, the Franz Kafka Prize and the International Ibsen Award.

He broke off his studies in 1966, when his debut novel Die Hornissen, which is an experimental "double fiction", was published.

Handke made sure to distance himself from prevailing demands on community-oriented and political positions and instead found much of his own literary inspiration within the New Novel-movement in French literature.

More than fifty years later, having produced a great numbers of works in different genres, he has established himself as one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War. His bibliography contains novels, essays, note books, dramatic works and screenplays.

Both laureates will receive 9 million Swedish kronor, or $0.914 million, as prize money.

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