Art And Culture

Nobel Prize in Literature for Belarusian Author

Nobel Prize in Literature for Belarusian AuthorNobel Prize in Literature for Belarusian Author

Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich, known for chronicling the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for literature Thursday “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

She is only the 14th woman to win the prize, which has been awarded 107 times, CNN reported.

On her website, Alexievich says she records conversations with 500 to 700 people for each book she writes. “Real people speak in my books about the main events of the age such as the war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the downfall of a great empire,” she says. “Together they record verbally the history of the country, their common history, while each person puts into words the story of his/her own life.”

She does not, she says, document a dry history of facts and events. “I’m writing a history of human feelings,” Alexievich says. “What people thought, understood and remembered during the event. What they believed in or mistrusted, what illusions, hopes and fears they experienced. This is impossible to imagine or invent, at any rate in such multitude of real details.”

Her books include ‘The Chernobyl Prayer’, ‘The War’s Unwomanly Face’, ‘Last Witness’, and ‘Zinky Boys’.

Alexievich, 67, began her career as a reporter on a local newspaper before formally studying journalism at Minsk University. She then worked as both a teacher and journalist, eventually taking the position of correspondent for a literary magazine.

Her first book, ‘I’ve Left My Village’, gave her a reputation as a dissident. When she completed ‘The Unwomanly Face of the War’, in 1983, she was accused of the “de-glorification of the heroic Soviet woman.” The work was not published until 1985, when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power.