The Swedish Academy in Stockholm crowned Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian author Peter Handke Nobel Prize in literature for the years 2018 and 2019 respectively in Oslo today.

Handke’s debut novel ‘Die Hornissen’ was published in 1966 and “More than fifty years later, having produced a great number of works in different genres, 2019 Literature Laureate Peter Handke has established himself as one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War,”  tweeted the Nobel Prize.

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk who is awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was born 1962 in Sulechów in Poland, and today lives in Wrocław. Her parents were teachers and her father also functioned as school librarian.

Tokarczuk “never views reality as something stable or everlasting. She constructs her novels in a tension between cultural opposites; nature versus culture, reason versus madness, male versus female, home versus alienation.”

“The magnum opus of Literature Laureate Olga Tokarczuk so far is the impressive historical novel ‘Księgi Jakubowe’ 2014 (‘The Books of Jacob’). She has in this work showed the supreme capacity of the novel to represent a case almost beyond human understanding.”

Dating back to 1786, the Swedish Academy is making strong moves to repair its reputation after the scandal exposed scheming, conflicts of interest, harassment and a culture of silence among its 18 members, long esteemed as the country’s guardians of culture.

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded by the Swedish Academy since 1901. The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by Swedish King Gustav III. The Academy is composed of 18 members whose tenure is for life. Known as “De Aderton” (The Eighteen), current members of the Academy include distinguished Swedish writers, linguists, literary scholars, historians and a prominent jurist. Its working body is the Nobel Committee, elected from among its members for a three-year term.