Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft and published by Fitzcarraldo Editions is the winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2018, announced yesterday evening. The prize of £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author and translator.
Olga Tokarczuk is an award-winning and best-selling author in Poland whose work is now gaining recognition in the English-speaking world. She trained as a psychologist at the University of Warsaw, and her interest in Jung continues to influence her work. Her first book, a collection of poems, was published in 1989. She is the author of eight novels and two short-story collections.
Jennifer Croft translates from Polish, Spanish and Ukrainian, having studied Literary Translation at the University of Iowa. She is a founding editor of the Buenos Aires Review.
Flights is a novel of linked fragments, from the 17th century to the present day, connected by themes of travel and human anatomy.
The winner was selected from 108 submissions by a panel of five judges, chaired by Lisa Appignanesi OBE, and consisting of: Michael Hofmann, poet, reviewer and translator from German; Hari Kunzru, author of five novels including The Impressionist and White Tears; Tim Martin, journalist and literary critic, and Helen Oyeyemi, author of novels, plays and short stories including The Icarus Girl.
Lisa Appignanesi comments:
Our deliberations were hardly easy, since our shortlist was such a strong one. But I’m very pleased to say that we decided on the great Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk as our winner: Tokarczuk is a writer of wonderful wit, imagination and literary panache. In Flights, brilliantly translated by Jennifer Croft, by a series of startling juxtapositions she flies us through a galaxy of departures and arrivals, stories and digressions, all the while exploring matters close to the contemporary and human predicament – where only plastic escapes mortality.
More info here.