Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano-Frankivsk in 1948 and has spent most of her life in the Soviet Union and present-day Belarus, with prolonged periods of exile in Western Europe. Starting out as a journalist, she developed her own, distinctive non-fiction genre which brings together a chorus of voices to describe a specific historical moment. Her works include The Unwomanly Face of War (1985), Last Witnesses (1985), Boys in Zinc (1991), Chernobyl Prayer (1997) and Second-Hand Time (2013). She has won many international awards, including the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for 'her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time'. Richard Pevear, along with his wife Larissa Volokhonsky, has translated works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gogol, Bulgakov and Pasternak. They both were twice awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize (for Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina). They are married and live in France. Larissa Volokhonsky, along with her husband Richard Pevear, has translated works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gogol, Bulgakov and Pasternak. They both were twice awarded the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize (for Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Tolstoy's Anna Karenina). They are married and live in France.
A masterpiece of clear-eyed humility. . . Alexievich is the most inspired and inspiring of all Nobel prize winners, a genuine bearer of witness -- Tim Adams * Observer * Astonishing. . . Like the great Russian novels, these testimonials ring with emotional truth. . . Few people have ever conjured better the pain of loss -- Caroline Moorehead * Guardian * An antidote to nostalgic World War II narratives. . . Breathtaking, occasionally unbearably sad. Svetlana Alexievich is in a class of her own -- Paula Hawkins A major work by one of our greatest living historians. . . a profound, revelatory book. Through an artfully crafted and sincerely empathetic technique of enticing, soothing, and teasing out - gentle, unobtrusive, knowing when to encourage and when to let a pause run its course - Alexievich uncovers some of the most evocative war stories ever published -- Jane Graham * Big Issue * These stories demand to be read -- Gerard DeGroot * The Times * If God existed, or had an ear, she might listen the way Svetlana Alexievich does to the stories of her fellow ex-Soviets. . . These stories have a hallucinatory clarity, like visions or nightmares-except they are made simply from the stuff of life -- John Freeman * Lit Hub * The experience of reading these thousands of human confessions has an astonishingly powerful impact -- Gaby Wood * Daily Telegraph * A masterly and potent reminder that the memory of loss belongs to individuals and communities, and not to the states that turn its psychic energy to other ends -- Kevin Platt * TLS * An important historical document. . . offers a harrowing picture of the lives of Russian children caught up in Hitler's invasion on the Eastern Front -- Ian Thomson * Evening Standard * Svetlana Alexievich's books go as deep as the soul of woman can go. And now she investigates the soul in the agonized process of historical formation -- Geoff Dyer This new translation will no doubt leave another huge impression on this new generation of readers * Bustle *