From the transcript of a telephone interview with Louise Glück conducted by Adam Smith, chief scientific officer of Nobel Media, after she won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature.
louise glück: Hello?
adam smith: Good morning, my name is Adam Smith, calling from nobelprize.org. Am I speaking with Louise Glück?
glück: I really can’t do this.
smith: I promise it won’t be anything onerous.
glück: I have to have some coffee right now.
smith: Could I ask you what the award of the Nobel Prize means to you?
glück: I have no idea. My first thought was “I won’t have any friends” because most of my friends are writers. Of course there are recipients I don’t admire. I wanted to buy another house, a house in Vermont, and I thought, “Well, I can buy a house now.”
smith: It can be an intrusion, all this attention.
glück: It’s disruptive, the phone ringing all the time. It’s ringing now, squeaking into my ear.
smith: I fully understand. For those who are unfamiliar with your work—
smith: Would you recommend a place for them to start?
glück: I would suggest that they not read my first book unless they want to feel contempt.
smith: There’s so much focus at the moment on the value of lived experience. How important do you think lived experience is to be able to talk about events?
glück: Oh, heavens. It’s barely seven o’clock.
smith: But it’s so much a feature of your own writing.
glück: Is the two minutes over?
smith: Yes. I’m sorry.