American poet Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for her "candid and uncompromising" work, becoming the first US winner since Bob Dylan in 2016.She was an unexpected choice and is known for themes of childhood and family life that draw inspiration from myths and classical motifs. She was not fancied as a favourite for the Nobel in the run-up to Thursday's announcement — though betting sites' odds on her reportedly plunged just before the announcement.
Her collections "The Triumph of Achilles" (1985) and "Ararat" (1990) address "almost brutally straightforward images of painful family relations", the jury said, noting that her use of a "deceptively natural tone is striking", with "no trace of poetic ornament."
Prof. Gluck is also a poet of radical change and rebirth, describing in her poem "Snowdrops" the miraculous return of life after winter, her work often marked by "humour and biting wit".
The jury said her 2006 collection "Averno" was a "masterly collection, a visionary interpretation of the myth of Persephone's descent into Hell in the captivity of Hades, the god of death."
The Nobel Committee praised the writer "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal." New York-born Glück, 77, who is a professor of English at Yale University, made her debut in 1968 with "Firstborn," and "was soon acclaimed as one of the most prominent poets in American contemporary literature," the Nobel Academy said.She is the fourth woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize in the past decade — after Olga Tokarczuk, Svetlana Alexievich and Alice Munro — and only the 16th since the Nobel prizes were first awarded in 1901.Gluck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for her collection "The Wild Iris" and the National Book Award for her latest collection, "Faithful and Virtuous Night", in 2014.