The Nobel prize for literature has been awarded to American poet Louise Gluck “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal”.
The prize was announced on Thursday in Stockholm by Mats Malm, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy.
The awarding of the prize follows several years of controversy and scandal for the world’s pre-eminent literary accolade.
In 2018 it was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, the secretive body that chooses the winners, and sparked a mass exodus of members.
The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the American poet Louise Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”#NobelPrize pic.twitter.com/Wbgz5Gkv8C
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 8, 2020
After the academy revamped itself in a bid to regain the trust of the Nobel Foundation, two laureates were named in 2019, with the 2018 prize going to Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk and the 2019 award to Austria’s Peter Handke.
Handke’s prize caused a storm of protest: A strong supporter of the Serbs during the 1990s Balkan wars, he has been called an apologist for Serbian war crimes.
Several countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Turkey, boycotted the Nobel awards ceremony in protest, and a member of the committee that nominates candidates for the literature prize resigned.
This year it was expected the academy would seek a more harmonious choice for the 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) prize.