News | Penguin Random House | Munich, 10/13/2020

Luchterhand’s Nobel Laureate Louise Glück

The German publisher Luchterhand is delighted at the announcement of Louise Glück as the new winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the publisher of the only two works by Louise Glück that have been translated into German to date. They are the out-of-print volumes of poetry “Averno” (2007) and “Wilde Iris” (2008). Luchterhand is currently negotiating a new edition with the Wylie Agency.

The surprise of the book world could hardly have been greater when the Swedish Academy in Stockholm announced Louise Glück as the winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature to last Thursday, because nobody expected it to be the American essayist and poet. The Academy’s Permanent Secretary, Mats Malm, said that the 77-year-old was honored for her “unmistakable... voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”

Her German publisher Luchterhand was also as surprised as it was delighted. It published the only two works by Louise Glück to have been translated into German to date. They are the volumes of poetry “Averno” (2007) and “Wild Iris” (2008). However, both volumes have not been available for years and the rights have now expired. Luchterhand Publishing Director Regina Kammerer is currently negotiating with the Wylie Agency, which represents Glück. Luchterhand says that as soon as the rights have been clarified “Averno” and “Wild Iris” will initially be reprinted – in good time for the holiday season trade.

The Penguin author Ulrike Draesner translated the latest Nobel Prize in Literature laureate’s poetry collections and told the Berlin newspaper “Tagesspiegel”: “I think it is a very important sign. It reminds us of the significance of poetry and honors a poet whose work touches on highly topical aspects.” At the time, Draesner, whose only contact with Louise Glück is by email via the author’s agency, was invited with other translators to take part in a small competition with test translations. “I entered, and was awarded the commission,” she recalls. “Though I did know Louise Glück as a poet beforehand. After all, I studied English, and at Harvard in 2005 I bought volumes of her poetry after seeing them in a bookstore window.”