American poet, Louise Gluck, bags the Nobel Prize for Literature 2020. The permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Mats Malm, announced the prize. As per the Press release, Louise Gluck received this award “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.
Nobel Prize for Literature 2020
Awarded annually, the Nobel Prize for Literature is a Swedish Literature prize. The award came into being in the year 1901. It is awarded to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, produced “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. The Swedish Academy decides who will receive the prize. The award is announced every year in the month of October. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895. Physics, Chemistry, Peace and Psychology/ Medicine are the other fields to which the Prize is awarded.
A Literature Nobel Prize laureate earns a gold medal, a diploma bearing a citation, and a sum of money. The amount of money awarded depends on the income of the Nobel Foundation that year. The money is split evenly, if the prize is awarded to more than one laureate.
Between 1901 and 2020, 117 individuals have been awarded 112 Nobel Prizes in Literature. Of which, 101 were men and 16 women. The prize has been shared between two individuals on four different occasions. It was not awarded on seven occasions. The laureates have included writers in 25 different languages. Rudyard Kipling (41 years old) was the youngest laureate, when he was awarded in 1907. When awarded in 2007, Doris Lessing (88) was the oldest laureate to receive the prize . In 1931, Erik Axel Karlfeldt was awarded posthumously. Two writers have declined the prize, Boris Pasternak in 1958 and Jean-Paul Sartre in 1964.
Facts on Louise Gluck
This Nobel Prize winner was born in New York City in 1943. She grew up in Long Island. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University.
Louise Glück is the author of numerous books of poetry, including, most recently, Faithful and Virtuous Night (2014), which won the National Book Award, and Poems 1962-2012 (2012), which gained her the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her first book of poetry was Firstborn (1968).
She has won many major literary awards in the United States, including the National Humanities Medal, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Bollingen Prize, among others. Her work is noted for the technical precision, sensitivity, and insight into loneliness, family relationships, divorce, and death or frequent reworking of Greek and Roman myths. Her early works feature characters struggling with the aftermaths of failed love affairs, disastrous family encounters, and existential despair, and her later work continues to explore the agony of the self.