Nobel Prize Laureate: Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich wins the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature.

An investigative journalist from Belarus, Alexievich is the 14th woman to win this prestigious prize and the first female Russian writer to do so.

What is unusual about her winning the prize for literature is that her writing is non-fiction.

Literature is just a fancy word for writing says Philip Gourevitch in his The NewYorker article titled Non Fiction Deserves a Nobel.

Sophie Pinkham in her article in The new Republic Referred to Alexievich  as the Dostoevsky of nonfiction because of her “belief that compassion is the greatest hope for humankind…(and) Like Dostoevsky, Alexievich is concerned not only with national realities, but with universal human values.”

Alexievich focuses on stories about war, conflict and tragedy, often using the Soviet Union or former Soviet countries as the backdrop. She has written about World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War and the Chernobyl disaster.

She has been very much concerned about how women see war.


Irish director Juanita Wilson directed a short film based on Voices from Chernobyl, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2010.


The book she is currently writing, The Wonderful Deer of the Eternal Hunt, focuses on love.
“It occurred to me that I’ve been writing books about how people kill one another, how they die. But this is not the whole of human life. Now I’m writing about how people love one another. And again I ask myself the same question, this time through the prism of love: who are we and what country we are living in. Love is what brings us into this world. I want to love people. Although it’s increasingly hard to love them. And getting harder.”  Source

16 thoughts on “Nobel Prize Laureate: Svetlana Alexievich

  1. Excellent feature here Carol. Ironically I just read an article recently on Svetlana and the award. I’m thrilled that she won for literary nonfiction! What a great accomplishment. 🙂


  2. This is so interesting and thank you for highlighting her award and fascinating work. Great she is receiving such recognition and that her work will become more known.


  3. Compassion is needed throughout our world, especially in books do that the person’s reading will be moved to care and act upon their feelings. Lovely post, Carol. Thank you for introducing this Nobel Peace prize winner!


  4. The Wonderful Deer of the Eternal Hunt sounds like a book I’d enjoy immensely. So much of what we read or see in movies about war are from the man’s point of view. Men have started to portray the agony since the Vietnam War but they’re still just hitting the surface of it.


    • I’m sure there’s an error…But then I checked on and it was over $2,000. It must be a collector’s item. I wonder if any libraries have it. Let me know, Hilary, if you find out why it’s so expensive. The reviews of the book on Goodread are excellent.


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