Culture & Society News Poland

Wroclaw offers free transport to anyone reading book by Poland’s Nobel Prize in Literature laureate

Wroclaw, Poland – A Nobel Prize is almost always a source of great pride for the laureate’s home country. As it turns out, there are many different ways to show it.

City of Wroclaw offers free public transport for Tokarczuk readers

Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk this week received the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2018 (after the coveted prize wasn’t delivered last year due to a sexual assault scandal), along with Austrian novelist Peter Handke, named laureate for the year 2019.

The city of Wroclaw, where the Polish author currently lives, has decided to honour its local celebrity in a rather original way: anyone reading (well, at least carrying) one of Tokarczuk’s books will be allowed to freely use public transport until the end of this week, local media reported.

Declaring themselves “overwhelmed with joy” about the news, Wroclaw’s public transport authorities announced on social media that “anyone who will have with them one of her books can travel by public transport for free until the end of the week!”.

So if your ticket expired, you know what to do! But careful, bookworm ticket inspectors may be bound to quiz you to make sure you’ve actually read the book you’re carrying!

Tokarczuk becomes sixth Polish Nobel Prize in Literature laureate

Last year, Tokarczuk received the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, the first Polish author to do so. Her books, which include ‘Flights’, ‘Drive your plow over the bones of the dead’ and ‘The Books of Jacob’, have been highly acclaimed by both critics and the general public alike.

This is the sixth time a Polish writer receives the Nobel Prize in Literature. Previous homegrown laureates were Henryk Sienkiewicz (1905), Władysław Reymont (1924), Isaac Bashevis Singer (1978), Czesław Miłosz (1980) and Wisława Szymborska (1996).

“It’s fantastic that the Swedish Academy has shown appreciation for literature from Central Europe… I’m happy that we are still going strong”, Olga Tokarczuk, 57, reacted shortly after being nominated.

Both of this year’s laureates are expected to attend the official Nobel Prize ceremony on December 10, in Stockholm.

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