Belarus journalist writer Alexievich wins 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, Oct. 8(Greenpost)—Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of Swedish Academy Thursday announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2015 is awarded to the Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich ”for her polyphonic writings, a momument to suffering and courage in our time.”

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In an interview with Greenpost, Danius said there are several reasons for her to win the prize and one of the reasons will be enough.

”She is offering us a whole new and very interesting historical material, she is devoted almost 40 years to exploring Soviet Individual and Post Soviet Individual, but she is not interested in events.”

The events she covers for example the Chernobyl disaster, Second World War, these are pretext for exploring what history does to the individual, where individual life intersects with the course of historical events.

”What she is really interested in is the soul of events, of the inner life of individuals, that’s what she has been uncover book after book. ”

Svetlana Alexievich was born on 31 May 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankivsk, as the daughter of a Belarusian father and a Ukrainian mother. When the father had completed his military service, the family moved to Belarus, where both parents worked as teachers.

After finishing school, Alexievich worked as a teacher and as a journalist, and she studied journalism at the University of Minsk between 1967-1972.

After her graduation she was referred to a local newspaper in Brest near the Polish border, because of her oppositional views. She later returned to Minsk and began an employment at the newspaper Sel’skaja Gazeta. For many years, she collected materials for her first book in 1985 and then published in English as War’s Unwomanly Face in 1988 which is based on interviews with

hundreds of women who participated in the Second World War.

She has conducted thousands of interviews over the years with man and women and children, she always keeps herself in the background unlike most journalists,

She doesn’t add any material of her own. All that we get are these voices and they have been edited because she really wants to bring out sort of the innermost life of individual, and then she composes these voices in a delicate way, this is some kind of musical composition.

Danius said Alexievich’s achievement is also to create this new genre of writing.

Her first book was called Wars Unwomenly Face which was sold two million copies depicting about the one million Soviet women red army who fought alongside with male soldiers, and then returned to civil society, but they didn’t get the recognition they deserved.

This work is the first in Alexievich’s grand cycle of books, “Voices of Utopia”, where life in the Soviet Union is depicted from the perspective of the individual.

By means of her extraordinary method – a carefully composed collage of human voices –Alexievich deepens our comprehension of an entire era. The consequences of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl 1986 is the topic of Voices from Chernobyl –Chronicle of the Future, 1999).

Zinky Boys – Soviet voices from a forgotten war, 1992 is a portrayal of the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan 1979–89, and her work “Second-hand Time: The Demise of the Red (Wo)man”) is the latest in “Voices of Utopia”. Another early book that also belongs in this life long project is “Last witnesses”.

Important influences on Alexievich’s work are the notes by the nurse and author Sofia Fedorchenko (1888–1959) of soldiers’ experiences in the First World War, and the documentary reports by the Belarusian author Ales Adamovich (1927–1994) from the Second World War.

Because of her criticism of the regime, Alexievich has periodically lived abroad, in Italy, France, Germany, and Sweden, among other places.

The Swedish Academy has a tradition that all the journalists will squeeze around the platform to wait for the news.

They also invited some children from Rinkby school where Chinese writer Mo Yan who won the  Nobel Prize  in 2012 had been.

Nobel Prize is seen as a way to promote science and literature as well as world Peace.

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