Polish Writer Olga Tokarczuk

  • Updated March 27, 2023
  • Pages 4 (964 words)
  • Views 344
  • Subject
  • Category
This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

The topic of this work is concentrated on the greatest writer of the century. The task seems to be tough as many factors might be taken under consideration such as the writer’s life, prizes or pieces of work that were published. This essay will focus on the writer of XXI century. The choice is not obvious as many writers around the world might be called ‘the greatest’. This is also very subjective opinion for each of us. This depends of everyone’s value system.

According to above, this essay will describe one of the greatest writers from Poland – Olga Tokarczuk. Why this amazing women was chosen? Firstly, she is representative of prominent figure in polish literary world. Secondly, Olga Tokarczuk is the 2018 Nobel Prize winner in Literature and finally this lady is an author of many books and incredibly good writings.

The writer was born on 29 January 1962 in Sulechów to a family of teachers. Little Olga spent her childhood in a village near Zielona Góra. There her parents taught at a folk university. Then they moved to Opole and Olga graduated from the High School there. Her first short works were published in 1979. Olga Tokarczuk enrolled to psychology specialization at the University of Warsaw. During a period her study, she worked as a volunteer in a psychiatric hospital. After graduation, she worked for several years until 1996 as a psychotherapist who trained teachers according to her own program.

All the time she was creating and developing her literary skills. Her works were awarded by various institutions. Olga Tokarczuk co-organized many literary events and workshops. Olga has made numerous trips around the world, including to England, the United States, China, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Syria and Egypt. In 2009, she was on a scholarship from the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Science in Wassenaar, where she wrote the novel ‘Lead Your Plough through the Bones of the Dead’ (Internet source 1.)

This amazing writer has won many prizes and distinctions for her literary works including “Zwierciadło” – Kryształowe Zwierciadło, monthly magazine prize in 2001, Kulturpreis Schlesien des Landes Niedersachsen – The Cultural Award of the Silesian Voivodeship of Lower Saxony (2003), the Nike Literary Award for the novels Bieguni (2008) and Księgi Jakubowe (2015), the Award of Partner Citis of Toruń and Getyngi. S.B. Linde Prize (2008), Usedom Prize for Literature (2012), Slovenian International Prize for Literature ‘Vilenica’. (2013), Minister of Culture and National Heritage Award in the category: Literatura (2015), the British Man Booker International Prize (together with translator J. Croft) for the novel Bieguni (Flights) in 2018.

In 2015, together with Karol Maliszewski, she hosted the Mountain of Literature Festival organised in and around Nowa Ruda by the ‘Góry Babel’ Cultural Association and the Municipality of Nowa Ruda. In 2016, she became a member of the European Poet of Freedom Award jury. She was also awarded the Silver Medal ‘Gloria Artis’ for Merit to Culture. (2009), the title of Meritorious for the City of Walbrzych (2016) and the Ambassador of Wroclaw (2016). Her greatest achievement was winning the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2018 in 2019 (Internet source 2).

Undoubtedly Olga Tokarczuk is a great personality and incredible writer but she also is an ordinary human. Below are seven fact files showing her in casual light:

  1. Olga got married twice. The first husband was also a psychologist, Roman Fingas. She was 23 then. In 1998 she founded with him the Ruta publishing house, which published, among others, ‘Dom dzienny, dom nocny’ (‘The day house, the night house’) and the stories ‘Szafa’ (‘The wardrobe’). This was operated until 2004.
  2. She left for London in the late 1980s. She worked as a hotel maid, where she looked at the staff employed there: maids, suppliers, cleaners, mostly foreigners. In defense of workers’ rights, she wanted to establish unions in this hotel. Everyone, like her, worked without a contract. Unfortunately, nothing came out of it.
  3. As befits a great writer she has her writing rituals. One of them, for example, was the drawing of ‘Księgi Jakubowe’ (‘James Books’) on a 15-metre roll of grey packaging paper. Often, in the ‘Tide of Venus’, Olga writes from morning to night in a complete ‘detachment’ from reality. There is a special writing room in her apartment in Wrocław.
  4. Olga is a true woman and loves scarves. According to her, they give a woman many opportunities. The scarf can be a hat, a sweater, a skirt, so women can expose or cover her arms.
  5. Olga’s characteristic hairstyle is dreadlocks covered with coloured beads. He considers dreads to be a symbol of the blurring of borders between cultures and races. Right after graduation Olga shaved her head bald. She wore short hair for a long time too. The history with dreadlocks has happened by accident. Coming back from travels in Asia, a stranger hooked her up and offered to make dreadlocks – she agreed.
  6. Another fact file relating to above is the name for such a hairstyle. The writer came up with the name of a Polish knot (plica polonica). Then she wrote the story ‘Green Children’ about it.
  7. Another great figure of Polish literature, Wisława Szymborska, valued the writing of Olga. During the meeting in Krakow and Prague, they talked and smoked cigarettes (Internet source 3).

There are many facts that testify to the greatness but also to the ordinariness of our great writer. The history of her life and the stages that have shaped her into a great figure in Polish literature show the way to the top. Her inborn talent and intellect, as well as her hard work have contributed to the achievement of many honours. Adequately, it is an honour for us, as Poles, to have such an excellent writer who represents us internationally. With no doubt, Olga Tokarczuk is the writer of the century.

Cite this paper

Polish Writer Olga Tokarczuk. (2021, Aug 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/polish-writer-olga-tokarczuk/



What book did Olga Tokarczuk won the Nobel Prize for?
The Nobel Prize in Literature for 2018 was awarded to Olga Tokarczuk "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life."
What did Olga Tokarczuk write?
She wrote "The Flights of Birds" and "The Book of Jacob".
What language does Olga Tokarczuk write in?
Olga Tokarczuk writes in Polish. She is a Polish writer, essayist, translator and public intellectual.
We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out