Olga Tokarczuk: Writing Polish Identity

Tuesday 1 March, 6pm
Cambridge Polish Studies, William Mong Hall, Sidney Sussex College
Sidney Street Cambridge CB2 3HU GB
FREE but please book your ticket on Eventbrite
Olga Tokarczuk is perhaps Poland’s most decorated and eminent contemporary novelist. Join us for an evening of readings from her work (in English and Polish) and discussion with the author. Olga Tokarczuk will be accompanied by the main translator of her books into English, Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

Olga Tokarczuk’s most recent novel, The Books of Jacob (Księgi Jakubowe) won Poland’s most prestigious literary award, the Nike Prize, in 2015. The novel is based on the historical story of Jacob Frank, a heretical Jew who converted to Christianity and styled himself as Messiah in the eastern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the eighteenth century. In the novel, Tokarczuk deals with the most difficult questions of Poland’s diverse multiethnic, multiconfessional and multicultural history.

Questions of Polish identity have loomed large in all of Tokarczuk’s works, and we will discuss them in depth at the event.

As part of the event, Cambridge Polish Studies will also present the Talkman Prize for Literary Translation, awarded to the best translation into English of a work of Polish literature by a student of Polish Studies at Cambridge. The main prize is a summer school course in Polish language and culture at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, including flights, accommodation and board. The prize is kindly sponsored by Talkman Language Solutions.

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