She published her first short story under the pen name Natasza Borodin in 1979, in a magazine called „Na przełaj”. In 1989, a volume of her poetry entitled „Miasto w lustrach” [„City in Mirrors”] was published in „Okolice”. Four years later, Olga Tokarczuk’s debut novel „Podróż ludzi Księgi” [„The Journey of the People of the Book”] was published by „Przedświt” and went to win the Polish Association of Book Publishers award.
In the following years, she published subsequent novels: „E.E”, the story of an adolescent girl with psychic abilities and „Primeval and Other Times” (1996, translated into English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones), which was warmly received by critics and nominated for Nike Literary Award. It won the Audience Award in the same competition. For this story about a mythical village and its residents, Olga Tokarczuk received also Polityka’s Passport and the Kościelski Award.
In 1997, she published a short story collection „Szafa” [„The Wardrobe”], and in 1998 the novel „House of Day, House of Night” (translated into English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones), very characteristic due to its ‘constellation’ structure, which forms also the axis of the novel „Flights” from 2007. The English translation of the latter, by Jennifer Croft, gained international recognition in the form of The Man Booker International Prize in 2018. Apart from the works mentioned above, Olga Tokarczuk published two short story collections: „Gra na wielu bębenkach” [„Playing Many Drums”] (2001) and „Ostatnie historie” [„Final Stories”] (2004), as well as the novel „Anna In w grobowcach świata” [„Anna In in the Tombs of the World”] (2006), published as part of the international publishing series Myths, and a crime novel „Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” (2009), which was later adapted for the movie „Spoor” directed by Agnieszka Holland. Other publications include „Zgubiona dusza” [„The Lost Soul”], created together with the eminent illustrator Joanna Concejo (2017), as well as „Opowiadania bizarne” [„Bizarre Stories”] (2018) and a collection of essays „Czuły narrator” [„The Tender Narrator”] (2020). In 2022, it was the premiere of Olga Tokarczuk’s new book „Empuzjon”.
Olga Tokarczuk won Nike Literary Award twice: in 2008 for „Flights” and in 2015 for the novel „The Books of Jacob” (translated into English by Jennifer Croft), and she received the Nike Audience Award five times: for „Primeval and Other Times” (1997), „House of Day, House of Night” (1999), „Playing Many Drums” (2002), „Flights” (2008) and „The Books of Jacob” (2015). The Nobel Prize winner is the recipient of the titles of a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Warsaw and the Jagiellonian University and the University of Wrocław. Outside the country, she was awarded an honorary degree by Sofia University and Hong Kong Baptist University. In Norway, Olga Tokarczuk was honored with the title of Arne Næss. In 2023 was the winner of Nagroda Literacka im. Jerzego Żuławskiego.
Olga Tokarczuk received the Silver Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (2010), the Golden Honorary Badge „Merit for the Lower Silesian Voivodship” (2018), the Honorary Badge of the Kłodzko Province (2019) and the Medal of the Polish Senate (2019).
She is the Honorary Citizen of the City and District of Bardo (2005), Nowa Ruda (2009), Wrocław (2019), Warsaw (2020) and Cracow (2021).