Olga Tokarczuk has received her Nobel Prize in Literature during the official ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10. Tokarczuk joins a distinguished group of Polish writers as the fifth Pole to win the Nobel Prize.
The laureates received their prizes from Carl XVI Gustav, the king of Sweden. The Head of the Nobel Prize committee, Per Wastberg, gave a speech in which he emphasized the uniqueness of Polish literature in Europe and explained the decision to give Tokarczuk the award this year.
He emphasized that in her novels, Tokarczuk “tries hard to show the truth – the difficult truth – about Poland in constant motion.”
Wastberg added that the writer has “incredible prose” due to her observations and deep interest in mythology.
“Polish literature is shining in Europe – it already has several Nobel Prizes in its output, and now it’s time for yet another, for a writer of world-wide renown, broad interests, which connects elements of poetry and humor in her work,” Wastberg declared.
The committee head added that Tokarczuk uncovers the history of Poland at the crossroads and perhaps even the heart of Europe, as a country which became a victim of desolation by great powers, but also as a country which has its own history of colonialism and anti-Semitism.
“Olga Tokarczuk does not run away from the uncomfortable truth, even under the threat of death,” he said
Wastberg complimented the Polish author’s character creation and development, as well as her masterful prose and ability to weave in elements of fairy tales and mythology in ordinary villages.
He underlined that future generations will read Tokarczuk’s “The Books of Jacob” and “discover in them new riches which we still do not entirely perceive today.”
“I can see Alfred Nobel nodding his head in approval in his heaven,” Wastberg said while praising Tokarczuk’s magnum opus.
Congratulations to 2018 Literature Laureate Olga Tokarczuk!
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) 10 December 2019
The Presidential Palace in Warsaw emitted a projection celebrating Tokarczuk’s award on the front of the building:
Pałac Prezydencki – iluminacja. pic.twitter.com/o9Q5m0B6Gg
— Marcin Kędryna (@marcin_kedryna) 10 December 2019
President Andrzej Duda also sent a letter to Tokarczuk, in which he congratulated her on the prize.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has invited the writer to meet with him so that he can give her personal and official congratulations.
Tokarczuk is the fifth Polish writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, alongside Henryk Sienkiewicz (1905), Władysław Reymont (1924), Czesław Miłosz (1980) and Wisława Szymborska (1996).