The American poet Louise Glück was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, it was announced on Thursday via a livestream from Stockholm. She is the sixteenth woman ever to win the award.

The 77-year-old Glück made his debut in 1968 with Firstborn and subsequently released eleven more poetry collections, of which The Wild Iris (1992) is one of the most famous; she won the Pulitzer Prize for this in 1993.

She is praised by the committee for, among other things, uncovering painful family relationships and evoking universal emotions. “A sober, but also playful use of language”, chairman Anders Olssen explained the work of the poet. “Her voice is unmistakable. Frank, uncompromising, but also full of humor.”

Glück was notified by telephone of her award and is said to have reacted very surprised.

Sixteenth woman ever

The prestigious prize has been awarded annually since 1901 to an author who has made a special contribution to literature. Professors and previous winners, among others, can nominate someone worldwide. The committee, which is currently led by writer and professor Olsson, awarded the prize to a total of 116 people. Glück is only the sixteenth woman.

In addition to the honorable award, the winner will receive an amount of 10 million Swedish kronor (about 960,000 euros). It is the first time since 2000 that this amount has been so high. Lars Heikensten, chairman of the organizing Nobel Foundation, said earlier that the amount could be increased because the organization has its finances in order.

Olsson previously announced that the corona crisis has had no serious effect on the award of the prize. “We communicated more with secret codes, less by physically meeting each other,” said Olsson. Nominations and prize winners always remain strictly confidential. Even nominees do not know in advance that they have a chance.

In 2019, the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to two authors for the first time. Olga Tokaraczuk and Peter Handke then won together, because the 2018 awards had to be canceled. Due to a sex scandal involving the husband of one of the committee members, several people left the committee that year.

Other past winners include Ernest Hemingway, William Golding, Orhan Pamuk and Doris Lessing. In 2016, the Nobel Prize in Literature went to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. That later led to criticism, because the media-shy singer kept quiet for weeks and was also not present at the presentation in December. The artist did let it be known that he was very honored with the award.