The Slavic and East European Studies collection of the Indiana University Libraries is pleased to present an online exhibit about Svetlana Aleksievich, the Nobel laureate in literature for 2015. On the winners’ roster of this prestigious international award that stretches back to 1901, Aleksievich is the 14th “Slavic and East European” writer since Henryk Sienkiewicz won it for the first time in 1905. Hungarian writer Imre Kertesz (1929- ), who won the award in 2002, preceded Svetlana Aleksievich as a Nobel laureate in literature from a Slavic and East European country.
The introduction to her homepage — which lays the basis for this exhibit–provides a useful snapshot of her literature. There she talks about what her stories are about, how she writes them, and what she wants to achieve through those stories.
Svetlana Aleksievich wrote much about wars. Her first book was about Soviet women in WWII; second about children in it; third about the Afghan war. She wrote her fourth book about the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl’. She says she wrote so much about wars because “We did not have any other history. All our history – military. We either waged war or prepared for war.” The Nobel prize announcement resonates quite well with her own assessment of her literature: “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”
Selected Works of Svetlana Aleksievich
How has the World Responded to Svetlana Aleksievich’s Nobel Prize?
Светлана Алексиевич: “Чтобы сохранить себя, нужно мужества”– Известия
“Нобель” заговорил по-русский-Газета.Ru
Svetlana Alexievich’s Nobel Win Sends A Stern Message To Putin.-The Telegraph
“Я верю: боль – МОСТЬ МЕЖДУ ЛЮДМИ”-Новая Газета
Светлана Алексевич: сегодня очень трудно быть честным человеком-VESTI.RU
Светлана Алексевич знает, как и над кем нужно плакать-Взгляд
Svetlana Aleksievich’s award has evoked many different reactions by the media. The following are a few samples of media headlines, mostly from Western and Russian media.
Why the New Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich is the Voice of Modern Russia-Huffington Post
Нобелеская премия Светлане Алексиевич – за литературу или за политику?-Комсомольская Правда
Svetlana Alexievich, Belarussian voice of survivors, wins Nobel Prize in Literature-New York Times
Svetlana Alexievich, the Dostoevsky of Nonfiction-New Republic
Why reporter Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in literature: She’s a teller of secrets-Los Angeles Times
Svetlana Alexievich: The Truth in Many Voices-Timothy Snyder via The New York Review of Books
Svetlana Aleksievich’s works have been translated into many languages. Her final work, Время секонд хэнд, is, however, yet to be translated into English. Overall, the writer has 156 publications worldwide listed on her website.