Belarussian journalist and writer Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday. The Swedish Academy announced the news and said she was awarded “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”
Alexievich is the 14th women to be win the Nobel Prize in Literature — Alice Munro was the last to do so in 2013.
Alexievich has written short stories, reported pieces, and essays, and is best-known for her prose about survivors of World War II and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. “For the past 30 or 40 years she’s been busy mapping the Soviet and post soviet individual,” seceretary of the Swedish Academy Sara Danius said, in an interview, “but it’s not really about a history of events. It’s a history of emotions — what she’s offering us is really an emotional world, so these historical events she’s covering in her various books, for example the Chernobyl disaster, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, these are in a way just pretexts for exploring the Soviet individual and the post Soviet individual.”
Danius says Alexievich’s first book, War’s Unwomanly Face, “brings you very close to every single individual.” According to the Nobel Prize committee, the author’s response to the news was, “Fantastic!“
See the announcement: