Alison Flood in The Guardian:
The Polish novelist and activist Olga Tokarczuk and the controversial Austrian author Peter Handke have both won the Nobel prize in literature.
The choice of Tokarczuk and Handke comes after the Swedish Academy promised to move away from the award’s “male-oriented” and “Eurocentric” past.
Tokarczuk, an activist, public intellectual, and critic of Poland’s politics, won the 2018 award, and was cited by the committee for her “narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life”. She is a bestseller in her native Poland, and has become much better known in the UK after winning the International Booker prize for her sixth novel Flights. The Nobel committee’s Anders Olsson said her work, which “centres on migration and cultural transitions”, was “full of wit and cunning”.
Picking Handke as 2019’s winner, cited for “an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience”, has already provoked controversy. The Ambassador of Kosovo to the US, Vlora Çitaku, called the decision “scandalous … a preposterous and shameful decision”.