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Olga Tokarczuk was born in Sulechow, Poland, in 1962. After studying psychology in Warsaw, she worked as a therapist for difficult children in Wroclaw until 1985. She lives in a lower Silesian village in Poland, close to the Czech border. Besides her work as a writer, Olga Tokarczuk is also a publisher and organises literary events, e.g. a short-story festival in Wroclaw.

Olga Tokarczuk is regarded as the most popular Polish author of the younger generation. The annalist of the Polish-Czech border area with its diverse Central European roots writes novels, stories and poems, and her books are equally successful with both critics and readers. Her debut novel "Prodroz ludzi ksiegi" (1993; The Journey of the Book People) received an award from the Society of Polish Publishing Houses as the best prose debut of the years 1992 and 1993. In 1995, she published the novel "E.E.". Olga Tokarczuk received the audience award of the Nike Prize for her third novel "Prawiek i inne czasy" (1997; Primordial and Other Ages) in 1997.

Publications in German include "Ur und andere Zeiten" (2000), the volume of stories "Der Schrank" (2000), the novels "Taghaus, Nachthaus" (2001) and "Letzte Geschichten" (2006), and most recently the volume of stories "Spiel auf vielen Trommeln" in the DAAD series "Spurensicherung" (2006). "Olga Tokarczuk tells her stories without surprising twists, but she finds sharp, moving images. (...) more stories about people on the verge of collapse – gripping, irritating, moving." (FOCUS)

And the weekly newspaper ZEIT wrote of "Taghaus, Nachthaus": "A house in the mountains, close to the Czech border. A first-person narrator and her old woman neighbour, who is full of stories; stories that are interwoven with the narrator's dreams and keep returning to this place near the border, where so many ages and destinies meet. In a poetically sensitive way, Olga Tokarczuk draws the reader into the spell of these events, so that occurrences and dreams that always appear subliminally familiar to us despite their strangeness lead to a kind of collective sub- and super-conscious, the pull of which it is difficult to evade. 'Taghaus, Nachthaus' is a great literary success, bringing together and illuminating the various dimensions of human existence."

Together with her translator Esther Kinsky, Olga Tokarczuk received the literary and translation award "Brücke Berlin" in 2002. As well as editions in German and French, to date her work has also appeared in Danish, Dutch, Czech, Spanish and Italian. "Where contemporary literature is generally degenerating into trivial chatter or (post-modern) sensationalist reflection", wrote Ilma Rakusa of "Ur und andere Zeiten", "Tokarczuk risks the timeless tone of fairy-tale. [...] As if in a dream, her metaphysical-animalist figures move among life's perils, simultaneously guilty and innocent."

Publications in German Translation
Ur und andere Zeiten. Translated from the Polish by Esther Kinsky. Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2000
Der Schrank. Translated from the Polish by Esther Kinsky. DVA, Munich 2000
Taghaus, Nachthaus. Translated from the Polish by Esther Kinsky. DVA, Munich 2001
Spiel auf vielen Trommeln. Erzählungen. Translated from the Polish by Esther Kinsky. With an epilogue by Katharina Döbler. DAAD-Series Spurensicherung 16. Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2006
Letzte Geschichten. Translated from the Polish by Esther Kinsky. DVA, Munich 2006
Publications in English Translation
House of Day, House of Night. Northwestern University Press 2003
Published by DAAD
Spiel auf vielen Trommeln 2006
Events by DAAD


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