Louise Glück wins the Nobel Prize in Literature 2020

Louise Glück is today considered one of the most accomplished contemporary poets in the world. She is lauded for her ability to mold experiences of isolation and darkness into aesthetic gold. This year, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (2020) “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” She also won a Pulitzer Prize for her poem The Wild Iris; and has earned numerous other prizes and high praise for her poetry, short fiction, and essays. Glück is currently writer-in-residence at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can find some of her following poetry collections in BARD.

Poems 1962-2012 by Louise Glück. DB 79850
Compilation of collections of poetry previously published by a former Poet Laureate of the United States. Individual collections’ varied themes include nature, beginnings, and death. Contains Wild Iris, winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. 2012

The Wild Iris by Louise Glück. DB 37600
This collection contains a series of “Matins” and “Vespers,” in which the poet appears to address God directly in lines such as “You must see it is useless to us, this silence that promotes belief you must be all things.” Gluck uses another voice to communicate with her husband about the garden they tend together one summer. And in some poems, she questions human nature, including her own. 1992.

Meadowlands by Louise Glück. DB 43058
A collection of poems that interweaves vignettes from The Odyssey with the story of a dissolving modern marriage. Uses Homer’s characters metaphorically to portray aspects of contemporary family life. Meditates on compulsion and choice and on freedom and restraint.

The Triumph of Achilles by Louise Glück. BR 06473 (1 volume of hard-copy braille)
Collection of eloquent and fiercely honest poems that deal with death, life, loss, and the sense of doom at the borders of erotic experience.

After a year of suspense, the Swedish Academy announces Olga Tokarczuk is the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature

Olga Tokarczuk, the 57-year-old Polish writer had already received the 2017 Man Booker International prize for her collection of short stories Flights, and in a surprise announcement, on October 10th, 2019, The Swedish Academy reported it was awarding her with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature. The 2018 Nobel Prize announcement was postponed by a year due to jury-related scandals, and now they have ended the delay by selecting an awardee that was unexpected to some and pleasing to others. Olga Tokarczuk is a feminist, wears dreadlocks, and is an engaged political activist “who does not shy away from criticizing Poland’s right-wing government” says the BBC in their profile of the author. We have two of Olga’s books available for download on BARD:

FLIGHTS by Olga Tokarczuk          DB 92242

An award-winning collection of short stories. A Dutch anatomist dissects himself. A woman returns home in order to poison her dying high school sweetheart. A man goes mad after his family disappears and reappears. Translated from the 2017 Polish edition. Some strong language, some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. Man Booker Prize. Bestseller. 2017.


Living in a remote Polish village, Janina has developed a reputation as a crank and recluse. When a neighbor turns up dead and other bodies are discovered in strange circumstances, Janina inserts herself into the investigation. Translated from the 2009 Polish edition. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018. Translated to English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Latin American Fiction on BARD

Gabriel García Marquez and Isabel Allende are not the only major fiction authors Latin America has produced by far, but they are, for the most part, the only ones widely known in the English-speaking world. There are many interesting Latin American authors out there that you can explore and enjoy, and in many cases, the English translation of their work is on BARD.  Want to expand your horizons? Check these Latin American classics out:


In the title novella, first published in 1940, a fugitive from justice escapes to a remote island, where he enters into a dreamlike existence along with other “intruders.” He falls in love and gradually uncovers the eerie secret of his strange new world. Also includes six short stories first published in 1948.

FICCIONES by Jorge Luis Borges. DB 14683

English translation of seventeen brief, carefully wrought fantasies in which the Argentine Nobel Prize winner creates a terrifying and bizarre world.   The collection’s first part, called “The Garden of Forking Paths,” contains eight short stories published in Spanish in 1941. Part two, entitled “Artifices,” has nine stories published in 1944. [BR 11366, 1993]: The introduction by John Sturrock provides background information on Borges and on the stories.

HAPPY FAMILIES: STORIES by Carlos Fuentes. DB 68321

Sixteen stories set in modern-day Mexico. Vignettes depict relationships between spouses, lovers–including a homosexual couple–and parents and children while invoking Tolstoy’s observation about happy and unhappy families. In “Sweethearts” former lovers cross paths unexpectedly on a cruise ship. Translation from Spanish by Edith Grossman. Some strong language. 2008.

BOOK OF LAMENTATIONS by Rosario Castellanos. DB 45081

A tale of social and racial conflict set in the Mexican state of Chiapas in 1930. Describes events that precipitate a Mayan Indian rebellion against the dominant Ladino class. Culminates in a harrowing, redemptive crucifixion of a child. Originally published in 1962. Violence and descriptions of sex.

FEAST OF THE GOAT by Mario Vargas Llosa. DB 56801

Urania Cabral, returning to the Dominican Republic where her father is terminally ill, recalls her youth during the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. Called “the Goat” for his depravity with women, Trujillo was the reason for her forty-year estrangement from her father. Strong language and some violence. 2000. Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2010.

EDGE OF THE STORM by Agustín Yañez. DB 24909

In a remote Mexican village in the early part of the twentieth century, a puritanical priest and his curate project their own fear of life onto their flock. The clerics ignore the affectionate warnings of another priest and close their eyes to the rumbling of revolution and change.

FAREWELL TO THE SEA: A NOVEL OF CUBA by Reinaldo Arenas. DB 24304

Psychological portrait of contemporary life in Castro’s Cuba, full of shattered hopes and agonizing realities generated by the revolution. A disillusioned young poet retreats to a beach resort with his family to ponder both his country’s future and his own sexual ambiguity. Includes considerable poetry. Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. 1985.

PARADISO by José Lezama Lima. DB 08039

Highly praised, panoramic novel of a man’s search for his dead father and for an understanding of love and the powers of the mind, psychological and philosophical themes are intricately interwoven. Explicit descriptions of sex. 1974.


Ten intriguing stories from the apocalyptic world of the Argentine writer. In the title story, a group of fans of the legendary movie star Glenda Garson, meet at showings of her films and eventually become a fanatically devoted group. In all these tales a violent and unsettling suspense prevails. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  1983.


Mexican authors born in the first half of the twentieth century write tales that reveal a panorama of Mexican culture and society–past and present, urban and rural, real and unreal. In “What Became of Pampa Hash?” an impoverished Mexican has a torrid love affair. The Big Read selection NEA. 2008.