You’d think that the Nobel Prize Committee for Literature would play it safe this time around after having been suspended last year due to a sexual misconduct scandal, but no. The 2019 prize has been awarded to Peter Handke, an Austrian playwright, author and translator with a long track record of winning literary prizes. Unfortunately, Handke has also been an outspoken supporter of Serbian nationalism and, amongst other things, spoke at the funeral of Slobodan Milošević. In this day and age, the timing of awarding the prize to Handke seems particularly misjudged. No matter his skills as an author. Why they didn’t chose someone else amongst the numerous talented living authors is mind-boggling.
Poor Olga Tokarczuk, whose win for the 2018 prize (awarded this year because of said scandal) risks being drowned in the controversy around Handke’s prize, is the one we should focus on perhaps. Her novel Flights, which won the International Man Booker Prize last year, seems like a good place to start.