The Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” Alexievich was born in the Ukraine in 1948 and later moved to Belarus. For many years she worked as a journalist in Minsk. Her writing career is notable for her examination of life in the Eastern Bloc from the perspectives of individuals. Her first published work was War’s Unwomanly Face, based on interviews with hundreds of Soviet women about their experiences in World War II.
She has chronicled the Russian war in Afghanistan in Soviet Voices from a Forgotten War and the effects of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster, an excerpt from which can be read here.