Svetlana Alexievich, the Belarusian writer whose oral histories have recorded thousands of individual voices to map the implosion of the Soviet Union, has won the Nobel prize for literature.

The Swedish Academy, announcing her win, praised Alexievich’s «polyphonic writings», describing them as a «monument to suffering and courage in our time».



pARTisan is happy that our countrywoman Svetlana Alexievich took this prize. It’s a very significant gesture of global community not only for Belarusian literature and culture. But we hope that this event could destroy some stereotypes about our country as well as ruin an invisible border which still we have with global World. And for us as for pARTisans it’s important doubly because it confirms our idea about great potency of Belarusian cultural hero. We believe that only Belarusian cultural hero can do for future of Belarus more than any politicians could.

 Svetlana Alexievich

Born: 31 May 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankivsk. Alexievich worked as a teacher and as a journalist, and she studied journalism at the University of Minsk between 1967 and 1972.
After her graduation she was referred to a local newspaper in Brest near the Polish border, because of her oppositional views. She later returned to Minsk and began an employment at the newspaper Sel’skaja Gazeta. For many years, she collected materials for her first book U vojny ne ženskoe lico (1985; War’s Unwomanly Face, 1988), which is based on interviews with hundreds of women who participated in the Second World War. This work is the first in Alexievich’s grand cycle of books, «Voices of Utopia», where life in the Soviet Union is depicted from the perspective of the individual. 

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