Olga Tokarczuk On Facing the Blank Page


“I have never experienced a creative emptiness,” says Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. She here shares her fearless approach to beginning a book, always con-fident that the voice of the novel will eventually present itself.

“Today, the empty page means waiting for a voice in my head that will tell me the whole story.” While Tokarczuk patiently waits, she makes drafts of the outline of the story and its characters, and prepares her reading matter – “writing only when the voice surfaces.”

Olga Tokarczuk (b. 1962) is a Polish writer. She has written several novels, a collection of poems, as well as books with shorter prose works. Among her novels are ‘Primeval and Other Times’ (1996), ‘House of Day, House of Night’ (1998), ‘The Books of Jacob’ (2014), and ‘Flights’ (2017, originally published in 2008). Tokarczuk is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including two Nike Awards (2008 and 2015), the German-Polish International Bridge Prize (2015), the Man Booker Inter-national Prize (2018) and the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Olga Tokarczuk was interviewed by Marie Tetzlaff in August 2016 in connection with the Louisiana Literature festival in Denmark.
Camera: Klaus Elmer Edited by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen Produced by Christian Lund Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2020
Supported by Nordea-fonden

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