Nobel Prize for Literature Winner
On Thursday, Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in Literature after chronicling the great struggles of the Soviet Union and it’s successor states. The journalist has used her reporting skills to bring a unique form of literature to the market creating books about everything from the survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to the collapse of communism.
Alexievich’s books have been published in nineteen countries and five of them have been translated into English. She has also written three plays and the screenplays for twenty-one documentaries. The author has been praised as a great and innovative writer who has mapped the soul of the Soviet and post-Society people and the Nobel Academy stated she was chosen “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”
Born on May 31, 1948, in the western Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankivsk to a Belarusian father and a Ukrainian mother, both of whom were teachers. Alexievich later studied journalism in Belarus, which at the time was part of the Soviet Union. She worked at newspapers near the Polish border and in Minsk while collecting material for her books. During her life, opposition to her books has meant she has been forced to move around, but she currently resides in Belarus.
Alexievich has a particular writing style and explains her own impetus to keep writing with, ‘I am not interested in events, the history of events, I’m interested in the history of emotions.’ This has certainly kept her busy in a writing career that has spanned forty years.
The author is the fourteenth woman to win the Literature Award since 1901 and it is the first time the Academy has honoured journalistic work.