(Book Review) ‘Flights’ by Olga Tokarczuk / 「逃亡派」オルガ・トカルチュク

by Miki
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Flights won the Man Booker International Prize in 2018, and alongside the author’s subsequent reception of the Nobel Prize, her books started to get more attention. I read her work for the first time after a trip to Poland in 2017, even before the book was shortlisted. Since I was deeply in love with the scenery of Poland, I wanted to try something from a Polish author and ‘Flights’ was the only one I could find at that moment. Due to her unique writing style, it’s not an approachable page-turner; I read so many people commenting that it’s really hard to understand. However, I loved its beauty and its sensitive descriptions. I felt like I was walking through a beautiful maze – one part was like an academic non-fiction book, but suddenly, it changes form into a fairy-tale or even a journal-esque style. It was something I have never read before.


It’s really difficult to describe in further detail about this book, as it is not really a novel where the story is the focus. I would say it was more like a beautiful collection of literature ‘pieces’, forming a big, artistic collage of old, vintage pictures. All these small pieces do not directly connect to one another, however, once you finish the book, you can see that all of them are describing the theme of ‘Flights,’ the movements of human beings. The vintage-looking maps woven throughout the book’s pages contributes to this mysterious and artistic atmosphere.


This is not a book to pick up in search of a gripping plot, this is a book to immerse yourself into a dazzling world of literature and to genuinely enjoy the reading and untangling of the hidden depths of the author in order to fully satisfy your literary mind. Such a unique and fantastic book, and I’m yet to find a direct competitor to it.


Fitzcarraldo Editions (Translated by Jennifer Croft)
白水社(翻訳:小椋彩 )

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