Olga Tokarczuk Wins 2018 Man Booker International Prize for FLIGHTS

By Sara Clemens | May 31 2018 | Humanities & Social Sciences

Flights, a “non-traditional” narrative by acclaimed Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, has won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, awarded annually to a fiction work judged to be the year’s outstanding work of translated fiction. Translator Jennifer Croft will share the 50,000 pound prize with Tokarczuk.

Flights will be published in the U.S. by Riverhead on August 14. 

This is the third consecutive year a Penguin Random House U.S. title has won the Man Booker International.  Israeli author David Grossman was honored in 2017 for his A Horse Walks into a Bar, translated by Jessica Cohen, and published by Vintage International. And in 2016 Korean author Han Kang won the prize for The Vegetarian, translated by Deborah Smith, and published by Hogarth.

olga tokarczuk and jennifer croft

Olga Tokarczuk and Jennifer Croft

The 2018 five-person panel of judges was chaired by Lisa Appignanesi.  She described Tokarczuk’s work as “constellation novels,” whose stories are sent into creative “orbit” by the writer. In the citation, she said, in part: “We loved the voice of the narrative—it’s one that moves from wit and gleeful mischief to real emotional texture and has the ability to create character very quietly, with interesting digression and speculation.” “Tokarczuk,” the chairwoman added, is “a writer of wonderful wit, imagination and literary panache … [she] “has written a great many books that sound amazing but which haven’t been translated yet.”

Tokarczuk and Croft received their award May 22nd in a London ceremony.

Nobel Prize and Booker Prize Winner
2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR TRANSLATED LITERATUREWINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZENAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2018 BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, THE WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, LITHUB AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLYSHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 WARWICK PRIZE FOR WOMEN IN TRANSLATIONA visionary work of fiction by "A writer on the level of W. G. Sebald" (Annie Proulx)"A magnificent writer." --Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize-winning author of Secondhand Time"A beautifully fragmented look at man's longing for permanence.... Ambitious and complex." --Washington Post
$26.00 US
Aug 14, 2018
416 Pages
Riverhead Books