American poet Louise Glück wins Nobel literature prize
STOCKHOLM (AP) - American poet Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for her “honest and uncompromising” work, which looks at the losses and trauma of family life steadfastly and with acrid humor.
She joins a handful of American poets who have received the award, which has been dominated by writers in its 112 year history. The last American to win was Bob Dylan in 2016.
She is also one of the few women - the 16th Nobel Prize winner.
The Nobel Committee praised Glück "for her unmistakable poetic voice which, with its austere beauty, makes individual existence universal" in the quote that Mats Malm, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, read during the announcement in Stockholm.
New York-born Glück, 77, a faculty member at Yale University, made her debut with "Firstborn" in 1968 and "was soon recognized as one of the best-known poets in American contemporary literature," the committee said.
Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Literature Committee, said Glück's 12 collections of poetry were "characterized by a pursuit of clarity". These include "Descending Figure", "The Triumph of Achilles" and "Ararat".
Olsson said her verses, which often draw on classical influences and examine family life, are characterized by a "strict but also playful intelligence and a refined sense of composition".
Growing up in a family of Hungarian Jewish descent, Glück spoke about how a teenagers' struggle against anorexia and the therapy she received for it influenced her concise writing.
"Louise Glück's voice is unmistakable. It's open and uncompromising and signals that this poet wants to be understood. But it is also a voice full of humor and biting wit," said Olsson. "This is a great resource if Glück is one of our great ones Topics dealt with the radical change in which the leap forward comes from a deep sense of loss. "
The committee noted her 2006 Averno collection as "masterful" and "a visionary interpretation of the myth of Persephone's descent into hell while imprisoned by Hades, the god of death".
Glück received numerous awards including Guggenheim and the National Endowment for the Arts Scholarship, the Gold Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in Poetry, and the National Humanities Medal.
She won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris and the 2014 National Book Award for Faithful and Virtuous Night. From 2003 to 2004 she was an American poet.
The Nobel Prize, which includes a prize of 10 million crowns (more than $ 1.1 million), comes after several years of controversy and scandal for the organization that awards the literary award.
In 2018, the award was postponed after allegations of sexual abuse rocked the Swedish Academy, which appoints the committee that selects literary winners, and sparked a mass exodus of members.
After the academy had revised itself to regain the trust of the Nobel Foundation, two winners were named last year. The award for 2018 went to Olga Tokarczuk from Poland and the award for 2019 to the Austrian Peter Handke.
But Handke's award sparked a storm of protest: As a strong supporter of the Serbs during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, he was described as an apology for Serbian war crimes. Several countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Turkey, boycotted the Nobel Prize ceremony in protest, and a member of the committee nominating candidates for the literature prize resigned.
On Monday the Nobel Committee awarded the Physiology and Medicine Prize for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Tuesday's Physics Prize recognized breakthroughs in understanding the secrets of black holes, and Wednesday's Chemistry Prize went to scientists behind a powerful gene-editing tool.
There are still awards to be made for outstanding work in the areas of peace and economy.
Lawless reported from London. Associate press writer Frank Jordans contributed from Berlin.
For more articles on The Associated Press past and present Nobel Prizes, please visit https://www.apnews.com/NobelPrizes
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