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Olga Tokarczuk talks to Claire Armitstead

Fictions: Flights

Hay Festival 2017, 

A rare interview with the great Polish novelist, who discusses her multi-award-winning fiction Flights. Perfectly intertwining travel narratives and reflections on travel with observations on the body and on life and death, Tokarczuk guides the reader beyond the surface layer of modernity and deeper and deeper towards the core of the very nature of humankind. From the C17th, we have the story of the real Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, who dissected and drew pictures of his own amputated leg, discovering in so doing the Achilles tendon. From the present we have the trials and tribulations of a wife accompanying her much older professor husband as he teaches a course on a cruise ship in the Greek islands, or the quest of a Polish woman who immigrated to New Zealand as a teen but must now return in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart…

Olga Tokarczuk talks to Claire Armitstead