Svetlana Alexievich


Svetlana Alexievich was born in the Ukraine in 1948. Alexievich’s awards include the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for “her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time” and the Swedish PEN prize for “courage and dignity as a writer.” She constructs narratives from interviews with witnesses to the most shattering national events. Twenty-one documentary films have been based on her screenplays. In 1989, Boys in Zink, banned from publication for 10 years, blew up the myth of the Soviet-Afghan war. She authored Enchanted with Death in 1993, The Chernobyl Prayer in 1997, and Voices from Chernobyl, translated by Keith Gesson, in 2005. Since October 2019, Alexievich has served as president of the Belarusian PEN Center.

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