Gluck is the 16th woman to win the prestigious prize and the first American to receive it since singer-lyricist Bob Dylan in 2016.

An illustration of Louise GluckImage: Nobel media
news Nobel Prize Thursday, October 08, 2020 - 18:13

American poet Louise Gluck was on Thursday awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2020 "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal". New York-born Gluck (77) is the 16th woman to win the prestigious prize and the first American to receive it since singer-lyricist Bob Dylan in 2016.

Currently an Adjunct Professor and Rosenkranz Writer in Residence at Yale University, she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. The Nobel Prize in Literature includes a 10 million kronor (more than USD 1.1 million) prize and comes after several years of controversy and scandal.

In 2018, the award 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 latest Nobel Prize was announced after names were revealed for those who bagged the honour in the different fields of science. Chemical scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday, becoming only the sixth and seventh women ever to win the award in over a century.

"This year's prize is about rewriting the code of life," the committee said. The tool can be used to change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.

Tuesday's prize for physics honoured breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes. Roger Penrose from University of Oxford, UK, won one half of the prize while the second half was won by Reinhard Genzel, from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany and University of California, Berkeley, USA, and Andrea Ghez from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. The prizes celebrate one of the most exotic objects in the universe, black holes, which have become a staple of science fiction and science fact and where time even seems to stand still, Nobel committee scientists said.

On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus to  Americans Harvey J Alter and Charles M Rice, and British scientist Michael Houghton.

"The discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives,” the committee said.

Still to come are prizes for outstanding work in the fields of peace and economics. The awards, handed out almost every year since 1901, come with a gold medal.

With IANS and PTI inputs