Svetlana Aleksiévitx

Belarusian journalist and writer in the Russian language, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature

Born in 1948 in Stanisławów, where her father, a Belarusian military officer, was stationed. A few years later, her family returned to Belarus and in 1972 she graduated in journalism from the University of Minsk, where she worked as a lecturer and on various newspapers.

She is the creator of her own literary genre, the "novel of voices", in which she gives voice to ordinary people to tell the story of the former Soviet Union and the present-day states that were part of it, from the Second World War to the present day. Her works were censored in the Soviet Union, and it was only with the arrival of Gorbachev to power and Perestroika that she was able to publish them normally.

Her books, translated into more than thirty languages and now classics, include Boys in Zinc (2016), The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II; Voices from Chernobyl and Secondhand time: The last of the Soviets.

Since the 1990s she has received numerous awards, including the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature, the National Book Critics Circle Award (2005), the Ryszard Kapuscinski Prize for reportage (2011) and the Medici Essay Prize (2013), among others. In autumn 2020, following the fraudulent elections and the subsequent repressive drift of the Lukashenko regime, she had to go into exile in Berlin.

Svetlana Aleksiévitx's photo