Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano-Frankovsk, Ukraine 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 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), ZINKY BOYS (1990), 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'.
'In this spellbinding book, Svetlana Alexievich orchestrates a rich symphony of Russian voices telling their stories of love and death, joy and sorrow, as they try to make sense of the twentieth century, so tragic for their country.' - J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature