Translated from Russian by Nino Bekishvili
2015 Nobel Prize winner in Literature Svetlana Alexievich is a Belarusian author, who writes in Russian and is widely translated and respected in numerous countries across the world. Apart from the Nobel Prize, she has been awarded a number of prestigious literary awards: the Triumph (1997, Russia), Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize (2001, Germany), National Book Critics Circle Award (2006, USA) and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (2013, Germany) among them.
Alexievich writes oral histories about important events from the Soviet and post-Soviet eras; her characters are ordinary people, whose narratives she transforms into completely unique and impressive texts.
The Chernobyl Prayer (1997) is one out of the five books united under the project named - Voices from Big Utopia, other are: War’s Unwomanly Face (1985), Boys in Zinc (1991), Enchanted with Death (1993-94) and Secondhand Time (2001).
“After the Chernobyl we live in a different world”, says the author. For years Alexievich studied, met and wrote down the stories of people who were directly affected by one of the biggest catastrophes of the previous century.