Svetlana Alexievich wins Nobel prize in literature | 2015-10-08 |

Svetlana Alexievich wins Nobel prize in literature

BBC, The Guardian     8th October, 2015 05:28:15 printer

Svetlana Alexievich wins Nobel prize in literature

STOCKHOLM: Belarusian writer and journalist Svetlana Alexievich has won the 2015 Nobel Prize for literature for 'for her polyphonic writings'.


The prize committee called her writing "a monument to courage and suffering in our time."


She was born 31 May 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankovsk into a family of a serviceman. Her father is Belarusian and her mother is Ukrainian. After her father’s demobilization from the army the family returned to his native Belorussia and settled in a village where both parents worked as schoolteachers. She left school to work as a reporter on the local paper in the town of Narovl.


She has written short stories, essays and reportage but says she found her voice unde the influence of the Byelorussian writer Ales Adamovich, who developed a genre, which he called the “collective novel”, “novel-oratorio”, “novel-evidence”, “people talking about themselves”, “epic chorus”, to name a few of his appellations.


In one interviews she said: “I’ve been searching for a literary method that would allow the closest possible approximation to real life. Reality has always attracted me like a magnet, it tortured and hypnotized me, I wanted to capture it on paper. So I immediately appropriated this genre of actual human voices and confessions, witness evidences and documents. This is how I hear and see the world - as a chorus of individual voices and a collage of everyday details. This is how my eye and ear function. In this way all my mental and emotional potential is realized to the full. In this way I can be simultaneously a writer, reporter, sociologist, psychologist and preacher.”


And the winner of the 2015 Nobel prize in literature is the bookies’ favourite Svetlana Alexievich, “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time” She is a prominent critic of the Russian regime, and the author of books including A prayer for Chernobyl.