2014 National Book Award Winner, Poetry


Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Glück Louise Glück, photo credit Katherine Wolkoff

Faithful and Virtuous Night

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 978-0374152017


Faithful and Virtuous Night emanates from a world where darkness blurs ordinarily sharp edges around the oppositions we summon to think our lives—loss and renewal, male and female, the living and dead. Precision of language, tone, and form is everywhere here, and as "night" calls up mortality, also vision, and ultimately a radical instability at the dream-crux of nocturnal relationships, Louise Glück reaches a mastery that allows for its opposite: "Chaos was what I saw."


You enter the world of this spellbinding book through one of its many dreamlike portals. Each time you enter, it’s the same place but it has been arranged differently. You were a woman. You were a man. This is a story of adventure, an encounter with the unknown, a knight’s undaunted journey into the kingdom of death. This is a story of the world you’ve always known, that first primer where “on page three a dog appeared, on page five a ball,” and every familiar facet has been made to shimmer like the contours of a dream. Faithful and Virtuous Night tells a single story, but the parts are mutable and the great sweep of its narrative mysterious and fateful, heartbreaking, and charged with wonder.


Louise Glück is the author of ten books of poems and a collection of essays. Her many awards include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Bollingen Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets. She teaches at Yale University and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Photo credit: Katherine Wolkoff