Elections in Belarus 2015

Nobel laureate Alexievich wants to ‘buy freedom’ for prize money

The article of Alexievich in Dagens Nyheter

At 13:01 on Thursday, all the major international media published materials on the major topic “Who is Svetlana Alexievich?”.

Within a minute after the announcement of the results, all the international media published materials about the writer. Bookmakers placed the biggest stakes on compatriot — the journalists obviously prepared in advance.


The British newspaper The Guardian writes that the call of the Swedish Academy found the writer “pressing clothes” at home. Alexievich admitted that the award left her with “mixed feelings: fantastic, but hectic.” The media published Alexievich’s answer to the question of what she will buy for the prize money. She said it would be “freedom.”

“Writing books is a long process, from five to ten years. I have two ideas for books, so I can now freely to work on them,” says Svetlana Alexievich.

Journalists quoted the secretary of the Swedish Academy Sara Danius, who called Alexievich “extraordinary writer,” who created “a history of emotions — a history of the soul, if you wish.”


Dagens Nyheter from the homeland of the Nobel Prize quotes Alexievich’s way of working: “I collect materials as a journalist, but then I work with them as a writer. I give the floor to those who have the right to be heard, but cannot get to the pages of books otherwise.”

American magazine Time writes that Alexievich “…used the skills of a journalist to create literature chronicling the great tragedies of the Soviet Union and its collapse: World War II, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster…” The the article recalls that Alexievich was printed in 19 countries, and in addition to her books, she wrote 21 script for documentaries.

In a special reference article on the life of Alexievich, The Guardian recommends the English-speaking readers the best books to start with: “War’s Unwomanly Face”, “Zinky Boys”, “Voices from Chernobyl” and “Second-hand Time.”


Newsweek says that in 2000 Alexievich became the target of the Lukashenka regime: she was accused of collaborating with US intelligence agencies, her phone was tapped, and her works were no longer published.

The popular in Poland newsmagazine Polityka is happy about the fact that this year the Swedish Academy did not surprise them, and contrary to the tradition of choosing the most unexpected among the contenders, it chose Alexievich. It also recalled that it happened only once – in 2006, when the most probable candidate from the list – Orhan Pamuk from Turkey – was chosen.

This year, competing for the award of Nobel with Alexievich were also Japanese Haruki Murakami, Kenyan Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Norwegian Jon Fosse.