Louise Glück Wins 2020 Nobel Literature Prize

Louise Glück
Image Credit: Poets & Writers

By Adedapo Adesanya

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to the American poet, Ms Louise Glück.

According to the Nobel Committee on Thursday, Ms Gluck was awarded the prize for her “unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

She was born in 1943 in New York and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States. Apart from her writing, she is a professor of English at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

The Laureate made her debut in 1968 with ‘Firstborn’ and was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature. She has published 12 collections of poetry and some volumes of essays on poetry.

Her works are characterized by a striving for clarity. Childhood and family life, the close relationship with parents and siblings, is a thematic that has remained central with her.

Explaining their decision, Mr Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel committee says Ms Gluck’s voice “is candid and uncompromising and signals that this poet wants to be understood. She has humour and biting wit.

“Even if her autobiographical background is significant in her works, she is not to be regarded as a confessional poet. She seeks universality … Three characteristics unite to reoccur in her works: the topic of family life, an austere but also playful intelligence, and a refined sense of composition.”

This makes Glück the 16th woman to win after Selma Lagerlof, 1909; Grazia Deledda, 1926; Sigrid Undset, 1928; Pearl Buck, 1938; Gabriela Mistral, 1945; Nelly Sachs, 1966; Nadine Gordimer, 1991; Toni Morrison, 1993; Wislawa Szymborska, 1996; Elfriede Jelinek, 2004; Doris Lessing, 2007; Herta Muller, 2009; Alice Munro, 2013; Svetlana Alexievich, 2015; and Olga Tokarczuk, 2018.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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