Nobel Laureate depicts ‘history of the Russian-Soviet soul’


A citizen of Belarus who was born in Ukraine and writes in Russian, Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich takes as her subject the “history of the Russian-Soviet soul”, The Times Literary Supplement notes:

Second-Hand Time is the concluding book in a cycle of five, “The Red Man. Voices of Utopia”. Gathered from interviews carried out between 1991 and 2012, Second-Hand Time will appear in English for the first time later this month, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions. Our first extract comes from the short opening section, in which the author addresses the reader in her own voice. The second, a complete chapter, suggests the breadth of Alexievich’s canvas and the originality of her method. “I am often told, even now, that what I write isn’t literature, it’s a document. What is literature today? Who can answer that question? We live faster than ever before. Content ruptures form. Breaks and changes it […] There are no borders between fact and fabrication, one flows into the other” (Nobel Lecture, 2015).

Alexievich will speak at a forthcoming forum at the National Endowment for Democracy.


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