Svetlana Alexievich

Literary Birthday – 31 May – Svetlana Alexievich

Happy Birthday, Svetlana Alexievich, born 31 May 1948.


  1. Is there anything more frightening than people?
  2. I’m trying to show the multiple variations of the entire life. I don’t want to be like other authors and say that there are only a few story lines in literature. A story is like a human face. We have as many stories as human faces. You might have similar facial features, but they’re all a little different.
  3. People always speak beautifully when they are in love or close to death.
  4. I’m searching life for observations, nuances, details. Because my interest in life is not the event as such, not war as such, not Chernobyl as such, not suicide as such. What I am interested in is what happens to the human being, what happens to it in of our time. How does man behave and react. How much of the biological man is in him, how much of the man of his time, how much man of the man.
  5. Death is the fairest thing in the world. No one’s ever gotten out of it. The earth takes everyone – the kind, the cruel, the sinners. Aside from that, there’s no fairness on earth.

Svetlana Alexievich is a Belarusian investigative journalist and non-fiction prose writer who writes in Russian. She was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. She is the author of Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster.

Source for image

Elke Wetzig, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 31st May 2018