Polish, Austrian authors win Nobel prizes

Austrian novelist Peter Handke has won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Austrian novelist Peter Handke has won the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in literature has been awarded to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk "for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life."

The 2019 prize went to Austrian author Peter Handke.

Mats Malm, the Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, says Handke was honoured "for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience."

The shortlist was made of eight names of which two were picked for the 2018 and 2019 awards, said Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy.

With the glory comes a 9-million kronor ($US918,000) cash award to be shared, a gold medal and a diploma.

The laureates receive them at an elegant ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896, together with five other Nobel winners. The sixth one, the peace prize, is handed out in Oslo, Norway on the same day.

The 2018 literature award was postponed following sex abuse allegations that had rocked the Swedish Academy.

Australian Associated Press