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Svetlana Alexievich

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

Svetlana Alexandrovna Alexievich was born in 1948 in Stanisłavov, 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 she worked as a teacher and in different newspapers. 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.  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. Outstanding among her books, which have been translated into more than thirty languages, are Boys in Zinc (in Catalan, Els nois del zinc, 2016, Raig Verd/Debate), War’s Unwomanly Face (in Catalan, La guerra no té cara de dona, 2018, Raig Verd/2015, Debate), Chernobyl Prayer (in Catalan, La pregària de Txernòbil, 2016, Raig Verd/2015, Debate), and Secondhand Time; The Last of the Soviets (in Catalan, Temps de segona mà. La fi de l’home roig, 2015, Raig Verd/Acantilado). Since the 1990s she has received numerous prizes, including the Nobel Prize for Literature 2015, the National Book Critics Circle Award (2005), the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage (2011), or the Prix Médicis Essai award for nonfiction (2013), among others. In autumn 2020, after fraudulent elections and the subsequent repressive drift of the Lukashenko regime, she had to go into exile in Berlin.

Update: 31 August 2022


Has participated in

Svetlana Alexievich

The Voices of Europe

Svetlana Alexievich: The Voices of History

Conversation between Svetlana Alexievich and Francesc Serés

Urban traumas

Cities and disasters