Two authors won the Nobel Prize in Literature this year: Peter Handke and Olga Tokarczuk. I hadn’t heard of either of these writers so I figured I would head over to Amazon and pick the ones that got the best reader reviews.
The Amazon page for Handke lists books with, mostly, between 0 and 5 reviews. For Olga Tokarczuk, there are just two books, with a maximum of 44 reviews. Compare to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Ode to Victimhood (4,200+ reviews), anything by Stephen King (up to 10,000 reviews!), Michelle Obama’s How to Marry a Successful Man (15,500+ reviews), etc.
Do we conclude that these recent Laureates are not truly great authors? Or that Americans don’t bother to read authors of great literature?
Readers: Had you heard of these authors? Planning to read anything by them?
- Wikipedia says Peter Handke questioned the demonization of Slobodan Milošević (thus upsetting the European righteous)
- the Wikipedia page for Olga Tokarczuk says “she has leftist convictions” (so she might agree with Slobodan Milošević, at least, on the merits of socialism?)
- NYT article on these prizes quotes Olga Tokarczuk as an enthusiast for low-skill migrants going to the U.S. (but not to her own homeland of Poland, it seems!): She also referenced increasingly severe immigration policies in the United States. “Twelve years ago there was no mention of the idea of walls or borders, which were originally adopted by totalitarian systems,” she said. “Back then I must admit that I was sure that we had put totalitarianism behind us.”