Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, in 1948 and has spent most of her life in the Soviet Union and present-day Belarus, with prolonged periods of exile in Western Europe. Starting out as a journalist, she developed her own distinctive nonfiction genre, which gathers a chorus of voices to describe a specific historical moment. Her works include War’s Unwomanly Face (1985), Last Witnesses (1985), Zinky Boys (1990), Voices from Chernobyl (1997), and Secondhand Time (2013). She has won many international awards, including the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

Author website:

Books (In English) in order of publication: 

War’s Unwomanly Face – 1983

Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War – 1989

Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster – 2006

Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets – 2013

On the Battle Lost – 2015

In Search of the Free Individual: The History of the Russian-Soviet Soul – 2018

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