Nobel Prize for Literature goes to Belarusian author
Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich was awarded the $960,000 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time." Alexievich became the 14th woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, an award that has been awarded 107 times till date. "I'm writing a history of human feelings," said Alexievich describing her own literary work.
Born 31 May 1948, Alexievich left school at an early age to work as a reporter writing several stories and reportage on events like the Chernobyl catastrophe, the Soviet war in Afghanistan etc. "War's Unwomanly Face" (1985), "Zinky Boys: The Record of a Lost Soviet Generation" (1992), and "Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster" (2006) are her most famous works.
Alexievich exiled from Belarusia
Alexievich is internationally known for documenting Soviet and post-Soviet people, before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her criticism of the national regime angered the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, and she was banned from making public appearances, and her telephone was bugged. She lived in exile for a decade since 2000, and returned to her hometown of Minsk in 2011.
Alexivich's historic win
Svetlana Alexievich became the first journalist to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her books are based on journalistic inquiry, and she records conversations with 500 to 700 people for each book she writes.
Reaction to Alexievich winning the Nobel
"Alas, she was given the prize for her hatred towards Russia," said Pro-Kremlin Russian journalist Dmitry Smirnov. However, opinions in Belarus were different. "A new national leader has appeared in Belarus, She has more authority now than any politician - the president or a minister. And she's someone with normal European values" said Belarusian playwright and screenwriter Andrey Kureychyk.