According to the Nobel Committee, Svetlana Alexievich was awarded the Nobel prize "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time".
Meticulous and honest in her portrayal of real life and people living under harsh conditions, throughout her carreer, Alexievich has had to face harassment and persecution. Since she was hosted as a guest writer in Gothenburg city of refuge in 2006-2008, she has remained a strong ties to the network, also after she returned to Belarus in 2011.
Born in the Ukraine, Alexievich is an investigative journalist and prose writer and has written novels, essays, short stories and reportage. She is a multiple award-winning author and has been translated into several languages. Her works have been the basis for documentary films focusing on witnessing and national crisis. Her latest book is Voices from Chernobyl, presenting personal accounts of the tragedy (2005). Among her other publications are:
- War’s Unwomanly Face (Moscow Progress Publishers, 1988)
- Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster (Dalkey Archive Press 2005)
- Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War (WW Norton & Co Inc 1992)
Silence or Exile
Svetlana Alexievich is portrayed in Marion Stalens’ film Silence or Exile, together with four other writers, among them the ICORN writers, Philo Ikonya, Mana Neyestani and Horacio Castellanos Moya, who had to leave their countries because they were threatened. They tell us about a violent, absurd, and unjust world and share their intimate perceptions of writing and exile.
Svenska Akademien's Bibliographical Notes.