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“She brings irony to a usually earnest form.” Review: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Reading this novel, one drifts along happily on Tokarczuk's flights of fancy, as her travels across space give way to journeys through history and deep into the psyche

By Chris Moss   July 2017

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft (Fitzcarraldo Editions, £12.99)

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk is known in her native country for her ambitious, experimental—and bestselling—novels. Her new book Flights, for which she was awarded Poland’s prestigious Nike award, makes a subversive incursion into that most apparently conventional of genres: travel writing.

Tokarczuk is less interested in conveying an exotic sense of place than in the effort of getting from A to B, devoting considerable attention to the banalities of travel: airports, tickets, sick bags, borders, bilingual dictionaries and guidebooks. She says, with…

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