Speaking up

Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Svetlana Alexievich after the announcement of her Nobel Literature Prize. (SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)

Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, 67, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature for her “polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time,” the Swedish Academy announced. She is the 14th woman to win the Literature Prize. The award of 8 million Swedish kronor (around $960,000) is given in recognition of a writer’s entire body of work.

Alexievich’s writings, which blends literature and journalism, has concentrated on the lives of women and men who lived through World War II, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-89) and the catastrophic events at the Chernobyl nuclear facility in 1986. Her acclaimed book, War’s Unwomanly Face (1988) is based on interviews with hundreds of women who took part in World War II.

She has also penned an oral history, compiled from more than 500 interviews conducted over 10 years, with survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident. On her personal website, Alexievich explained her pursuit of journalism: “I chose a genre where human voices speak for themselves.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *