American poet Louise Glück has been named the winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature. According to the seven-member Nobel Committee, the Prize was given to Ms Glück “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”
Mired in controversy, the award was won by Austria’s Peter Handke last year, alongside Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk who was announced the winner for the 2018 Prize, reports thehindu.com.
In 2018, the Prize was postponed by the Swedish Academy, which selects the winner, following the allegation on and the subsequent conviction of Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of academy member Katarina Frostenson, for rape.
The Academy was under fire from critics yet again in 2019 for awarding the Prize to Handke who is known to have denied the genocide and war crimes committed by Serbs during the Bosnia war and had attended the funeral of former Serbian leader, Slobodan Milošević - a war criminal. Protesting the decision, several countries including Albania, Bosnia and Turkey boycotted the Nobel awards ceremony and a member of the committee that nominates candidates for the literature Prize resigned.
The Nobel Prize comes with a medal and a prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor.
According to the words of Alfred Nobel’s will, the Prize is given to “the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction”. There have been 112 laureates to date, 15 of whom were women and 4 Prizes having been shared between two persons.
So far the Nobel Committee awarded the Prize for physiology and medicine to scientists Harvey Alter, Charles Rice and Michael Houghton for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus. The Prize for physics to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes, and the chemistry Prize went to scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer Doudna of the US for inventing a the gene-editing technique known as the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping "scissors".
The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on October 9 and economics is scheduled to be announced on October 12.