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Who won the Nobel literature prize in 2020?

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature was won by Louise Gluck. American poet, she has published twelve anthologies of poems and has accumulated numerous awards for her works over the years. In 1993 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for The Wild Iris collection, in 2014 she won the National Book Award for Poetry, while in 2003 she was awarded the prestigious title of poet graduate of the United States.

The American poet, born in 1943 in New York and of Jewish-Hungarian origins, was rewarded - the motivation reads - "for her unmistakable poetic voice that makes individual existence universal with its austere beauty". In addition to writing, Gluck is a lecturer at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Among the recurring themes of her works is Greek mythology with characters such as Dido and Eurydice or Persephone, in addition to childhood, and family relationships, in particular with parents and brothers and sisters.
As the Swedish Academy explained, "she would never deny the importance of the autobiographical context in her works, but she should not be considered a confessional poet". In her biography, the anorexia she suffered from in adolescence and early adult life was a central experience. To fight the disease, the writer has embarked on a psychoanalytical path, giving up at some point to attend university.


Along with that for peace, the Nobel Prize for literature has always been the most followed, surrounded by both attention and controversy every year. In 2019, the first after the "shock" of the harassment scandal that overwhelmed the Norwegian institution, the award was awarded to the Austrian Peter Handke, arousing strong criticism for his stance in favour of the former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic. At the end of 2017, in the middle of the "MeToo" period, the Swedish Academy was hit by the scandal involving Frenchman Claude Arnault, husband of an academician and influential personality of the Swedish cultural scene, who was allegedly convicted of sexual violence. It had been an enormous trauma in a country considered transparent, modern and attentive to gender equality.

Glück is the sixteenth woman to receive it, after the Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, winner of the prize for 2018. It was instead since 2011 that the Nobel Prize for literature was not awarded to a poet who mainly deals with poetry as it is understood usually: that year the Swede Tomas Tranströmer won. The last American to win the award before Glück was Bob Dylan, in 2016: he too is a poet, even if it is not the first word that would be used to describe him.



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