Watch: A seemingly endless queue for Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk’s autograph in Krakow

The queue is several blocks long and even though the video ends, the line of people doesn’t. It was shot in the Polish city of Krakow on Sunday and showed a mass of people waiting to get Nobel Prize Olga Tokarczuk’s autograph on her books.

According to the krakow.onet website, fans started queuing up outside the Literary Publishing House at 5 am. Tokarczuk started signing books at 10 am and continued until midday.

Another website said that 2,000 fans had lined up to get their books signed.

Tokarczuk won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2018, but was awarded the prize in 2019 instead as allegations of sexual misconduct by Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of Katarina Frostenson, a member of the Swedish Academy (which awards the literary prize) caused protests, resignations and outrage at how the case was handled. As a result of this unrest, last year’s prize was cancelled.

This year, the literary prize returned. Tokarczuk won the 2018 prizes, while the 2019 award was given to Austrian writer Peter Handke.

Tokarczuk “constructs her novels in a tension between cultural opposites; nature versus culture, reason versus madness, male versus female, home versus alienation”, the committee said. “And this is only possible if both poles are anchored in the narrative.”

Peter Handke was awarded the 2019 prize “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience”. He has often come under harsh criticism for defence of Serbian dictator Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, who was tried for war crimes.
PEN America called him a “genocide denier”.

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