Svetlana Alexievich

(Minsk, Belarus, 1948)
 CCCB, Miquel Taverna, 2016

Belarusian journalist and writer in russian. Winner in 2015 of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich was born in 1948 in Stanis?avov, where her father, a Belarusian military serviceman, was posted. A few years later the family returned to Belarus and in 1972 she graduated in journalism from the University of Minsk, a city where whe worked as a teacher and on different newspapers. Today she resides in Minsk, although until recently, due to problems with the regime in her own country, she had been living in Paris.

She is the creator of her own literary genre, “the novel of voices”, with which she gives a voice to common people to tell the story of the former Soviet Union and of today’s states that once formed part of it, from the Second World War to the present day. Through a series of testimonies her books offer a portrayal of reality hard to surpass. Her works were censored in the Soviet Union, and it was not until Gorbachev rose to power with the introduction of perestroika that her works could be published normally. Her books have been translated into over 30 languages; have been the basis for a dozen plays for theatre, and documentaries have been made from over twenty scripts that she has written.

Since the 1990s she has received numerous prizes, including the Nobel Prize for Literature 2015, the Sandro Onofri Prize for Narrative Nonfiction (2002), the National Book Critics Circle Award (2005), the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage (2011), the German Book Association’s Peace Prize, (2013) and the Prix Médicis Essai award for nonfiction (2013).

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