Olga Tokarczuk's 'extraordinary' Flights wins Man Booker International prize

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Emphasising on the significance of the Man Booker International Prize, Appignanesi said that the judges really felt that "this is a prize that has an interventionist quality - it allows writers to be better known in Britain, and in the English language, than they have been previously".

In Flights, she meditates on travel and human anatomy, moving between stories including the Dutch anatomist who discovered the Achilles tendon when dissecting his own amputated leg, and the tale of Chopin's heart as his sister transported it from Paris to Warsaw.

The Man Booker International prize delivers a reliable increase in sales for the winning book.

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The £50,000 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, has been divided equally between its author and translator. In 2008, she won the Nike Award, Poland's highest literary accolade, for Flights. She has authored eight novels and two short-story collections.

In contrast, The Book of Jacob focuses on the life of Jacob Frank, an 18th-century Jewish cultist, and presents Poles as a people who can be tolerant at times but also cruel and oppressive, to Jews as well as to serfs and Ukrainians. Still, the 56-year-old author counts among Poland's top writers. She has also received death threats or criticizing aspects of the country's past, including its episodes of anti-Semitism. "In Flights, brilliantly translated by Jennifer Croft, by a series of startling juxtapositions she flies us through a galaxy of departures and arrivals, stories and digressions, all the while exploring matters close to the contemporary and human predicament - where only plastic escapes mortality", Appignanesi said.

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