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Olga Tokarczuk’s ‘Flights’ wins the Man Booker International Prize

23 May 2018

10:43 AM

23 May 2018

10:43 AM

The Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk and her translator Jennifer Croft last night won the £50,000 Man Booker International Prize for the novel Flights (published here by the excellent and discriminating small press Fitzcarraldo Editions).

The judging panel was chaired by Lisa Appignanesi and consisted of Michael Hofmann, Hari Kunzru, Tim Martin and Helen Oyeyemi. Ms Appignanesi said of the result:

‘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.’

You can read Anna Aslanyan’s Spectator review of Flights here.

Our verdict on the longlist is here (though at the time I posted that I wasn’t able to include a link to our review of one of the longlisted books, Frankenstein in Baghdad, which is here).

And you can also listen to the critic Boyd Tonkin and Frank Wynne, one of the shortlisted translators, talking to me about the prize and about translated fiction here.    

Congratulations to all. 


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