Olga Tokarczuk was born on January 29, 1962 in Sulechów, as the daughter of teachers – Wanda and Józef Tokarczuk. She moved with her parents to Kietrz, where she graduated from the Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Cyprian Kamil Norwid. She studied psychology at the University of Warsaw, but the full schedule did not prevent her from becoming socially active. She combined her education with volunteering, in which she helped take care of people suffering from mental disorders. After graduation, she continued to work with the sick, this time as a psychotherapist at the Mental Health Clinic in Wałbrzych. She developed an early interest in philosophy and psychology, especially the works of Carl Jung, whose references can be found in the writer’s work.
The author, being a person characterized by great sensitivity, has clearly declared social views. She identifies as a feminist, often expressing her views in the fight for women’s rights, and constantly raises issues of animal rights, ecology, and speaks openly about her vegetarianism. She is also a regular participant in the equality parade. Due to her liberal views, her art is often criticized by more conservative circles, including right-wing politicians, due to the criticism of the current government actions.
One of the author’s earliest novels is EE, in which she addresses the issues of psychic abilities, a topic that has always been interesting to Tokarczuk. She is still fascinated by everything mysterious and supernatural that goes beyond human comprehension. The novels Prawiek and other times as well as House of the Day, House of Night also brought her great popularity . An equally successful story was presented in the book Drive your plow through the bones of the dead, in which the author addresses the issue of animal rights. Each of her texts is unique, and its message is deep, as evidenced by the frequent awarding of Olga Tokarczuk in Poland and abroad.
Although Olga Tokarczuk has been writing and publishing for many years, 2018 turned out to be the most special year. It was then that the author was recognized with the greatest international literary award and was the first since Wisława Szymborska to receive the title of a Nobel laureate. She was awarded “for her narrative imagination, which with encyclopaedic passion presents crossing borders as a form of life”. The greatest popularity was brought by her novel Bieguni , which still enjoyed great popularity. The same title also earned her The Man Booker International Prize, and Nike, which she won twice. In 2015, the Nike award was also awarded for the title of The Books of Jacob. It is the second best-known novel by Olga Tokarczuk.