Her most recent novel, Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and longlisted for the National Book Awards. "An apologist of war crimes gets a Nobel prize while the country fully participated in the character assassination of the true hero of our times, Julian Assange", said left-wing Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek.
The 57-year-old novelist is one of Poland's best-known authors, known for her humanist themes and playful, subversive streak.
The daughter of a school librarian, she won the Booker International Prize along with her translator Jennifer Croft for her 2007 novel Flights, whose English version came out in 2017.
Szymborska received the prize in 1996.
Ms Tokarczuk and Mr Handke each win a prize of €830,000. She is also a strong critic of Poland's right-wing government.
Born in Sulechow in western Poland, she is considered one of the major figures in global literature as translation has brought her work to a wider readership. The 1970 work The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick was an early bestseller, filmed the same year by director Wim Wenders.
The son of a Carinthian Slovene mother, Handke was born in Soviet-occupied East Berlin, before the pair resettled in southern Austrian town of Griffen.
"I only talked to Peter Handke myself".
Handke believes "to be receptive is everything", the Swedish Academy added, and explains how even the tiniest detail can be woven into every day life with "explosive significance".
But Handke, 76, was quickly seen as a divisive choice for his pro-Serb support in the Balkan wars.
Handke spoke at Milosevic's funeral and refused the prestigious 2006 Heinrich Heine Prize before it was to be revoked from him. The prize is awarded by the city Duesseldorf, and the city council must vote to approve prize recipient.
The Swedish Academy, which oversees the prestigious award, suspended it previous year after a sexual assault scandal.
Nobel Prize is a set of annual global awards bestowed for outstanding work in fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and the promotion of peace.
Handke studied law at Austria's University of Graz but dropped out a few years later after his first novel, Die Hornissen, was published in 1966.
It was the first time since 1943 that the award was not handed out.
Anders Olsson, chair of the Swedish Academy's Nobel Committee, said "we are not ready to evaluable this new process yet". Its victor will be announced this Friday.
Even before the scandal, the Academy had courted controversy in 2016 when it gave the prestigious prize to U.S. singer songwriter Bob Dylan, leading some to question its judgement.
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