Svetlana Alexievich, Writer

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Svetlana Alexievich, Writer

Today this Russian non-fiction writer is the most famous international cultural figure who lives permanently in Belarus. Her books have been translated into all the major literary languages, from English to Japanese. She started writing in Soviet times and devoted herself to meeting and talking with representatives of the silent majority who do not usually have the opportunity to express their opinions publicly. Svetlana Alexievich gave these people such an opportunity. 

In her books she explores the human psyche at the turning points of people’s lives. She writes about women at war. During the Second World War - how difficult it is to continue being a woman. Alexievich also writes about another war - the one that the Soviet Army fought in Afghanistan. For mothers of those who died in the Afghan mountains it was hard to learn that their sons gave their lives not for justice, but for ideals misunderstood and distorted by the communist leaders. Perhaps the most shocking book is one about suicide survivors and their confessions…

A good-natured woman of a low stature looks tenderly into the eyes of the person talking to her. And when she talks to you, you feel that you confess to her. And you talk about the most intimate things. You talk about life and talk about death. And then the record of your voice turns into a story of the Eternal.

That’s how the world learns the Truth.

Alexievich’s website, Open letter to Lukashenko, About terrorism and freedom

Author: Handbook on Belarus for International journalists