Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich will speak at Trinity College, Dublin as part of the International Literature Festival Dublin. Alexievich’s visit to Dublin will be her first-ever talk in Western Europe, and she will be discussing her latest book, Secondhand Time. 2Paragraphs managed to secure a ticket to the sold-out event, one of the highlights of the Festival.
The Belarusian journalist is most famous for Voices from Chernobyl, the first book to present personal stories from the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl and hailed as a haunting oral history filled with “a chorus of fatalism, stoic bravery and black, black humor.” Ireland has two special connections to Chernobyl. Humanitarian activist Adi Roche founded Chernobyl Children International to provide medical care to children living in the aftermath of the disaster. Since 1991 more than 25,000 children have been brought to Ireland for rest and recuperation. And in 2008 director Juanita Wilson made The Door, an Oscar-nominated short film based on the account of one of Chernobyl’s victims. It’s a sparely-told, highly affecting tale of a man who returns to his apartment in the radiation zone to steal an old door, for a reason only revealed at the film’s devastating climax.