literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature

Olga Tokarczuk in Conversation

Part of London Literature Festival

Enter the world of a sleuth with a passion for animals, astrology and William Blake at the launch of Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

Olga Tokarczuk speaks about her latest novel, which subverts noir and magical realism, her life as one of Poland’s most beloved authors, and her experience of winning the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for her novel Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft. Tokarczuk is in conversation with Lisa Appignanesi, Chair of the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Tokarczuk’s fourth book to be published in English, challenges our perceptions of madness, old age and animal rights, and caused a political uproar when it was published in Poland.

The novel, translated into English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, is set in a remote village in south-west Poland. Janina Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, gets involved in the investigation surrounding the murder of members of the local hunting club.

Janina has her own theory regarding the identity of the murderer, but the police dismiss her as a harmless old bat.

In 2015, Tokarczuk received the Brückepreis and the prestigious annual literary award from Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as well as Poland’s highest literary honour, the Nike Award, and the Nike Readers’ Prize.

one of Europe’s major humanist writers’
The Guardian

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Purcell Room


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Age recommendation
For ages 16+.