The Nobel Prize committee announced the winners of the peace and literature prize on October 10th and 11th respectively. Here’s a quick look to celebrate their works and look at their accomplishments.
October 7th marked the commencement of Nobel Prize Announcements for the year 2019 where Laureates—ranging from different disciplines of science, literature and peace workers—are revealed by the selection committee. They are chosen keeping in mind the vision of Alfred Nobel, which was to support “those who had conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.”
On Thursday, October 10th, the Swedish Academy (Svenska Akademien) in Stockholm revealed the names of the Nobel Prize winners for literature for the years 2018 and 2019. Olga Tokarczuk, a Polish author, won the prize for 2018 and Peter Handke, an Austrian author, for 2019. The 8 selected candidates for the prize were scrutinized and evaluated by a committee of 4 Academy members and 5 external experts who came to a decision to select this year’s recipient as well as previous year’s since the award was cancelled in 2018 after the jury was engulfed in a scandal which involved sexual misconduct allegations.
Olga Tokarczuk is a Polish author and, as called by The Guardian, “a flamboyantly dreadlocked vegetarian feminist” who was born in 1962, Sulechów, Poland. She made her debut in the realm of literature in 1993 with PodrózludziKsięgi which was translated into English asThe Journey of the Book-People. But the novel that put her under the spotlight was her third novel Prawiek I inneczasy published three years after The Journey of the Book People and translated into English as Primeval and Other Times in 2010. With 20th century Poland in mind, the novel was appreciated widely for its attempt to “resist moral judgement” and for moving towards new Polish literature.
Acclaiming her work, the committee selected Tokarczukas the Nobel Laureate of 2018 for “her narrative imagination that with encyclopaedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.”
Born in 1942 in a village named Griffen, located in Southern Austria, Peter Handke is a prolific writer having contributed in the literary domains of a novel, essay, dramatic work and screenplay writing. Handke made his debut with the novel Die Hornissen in 1966 which is an experimental ‘double fiction’. His narration has a sense of an adventure. He takes the readers on an unending quest for existential meaning whilst providing anecdotes from everyday experiences.
He prefers to wander and migrate from place to place to find inspiration for his work which is quite evident in his novel LangsameHeimkehr from 1979 (Slow Homecoming, 1985).
The selection committee endorsed his selection for“an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was declared on Friday, October 11th at 11:00 a.m. by The Norwegian Nobel Committee. The Prize was bestowed on Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for “his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”
Abiy Ahmed Ali came to power when Ethiopia was facing the aftermath of a severe border war with Eritrea, which had resulted in casualties and unrest among people of the two nations. Abiy’s first move was to fly to Eritrea, to work on a peace agreement between the two with the President of Eritrea. In the first 100 days lifting the country’s state of emergency, he pardoned thousands of political prisoners, discontinued media censorship, dismissed corrupt officials, and significantly increased the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. Abiy Ahmed Ali is the 100th recipient of the Peace Prize and the first Ethiopian to ever win a Nobel Prize.
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