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Scheck, Denis

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Deutschlandfunk - Germany | 21/06/2013

The moral memory of Svetlana Alexeivich

The Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich will be awarded the prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. The daily newspaper Deutschlandfunk is delighted and describes her as the moral memory of the collapsed Soviet Union. "What really happened in Chernobyl after the reactor disaster? What was life like for the women who fought in the Red Army during the Second World War? … Why did so many inhabitants of the Soviet Union kill themselves after it collapsed? Alexievich composed her books from more than three thousand interviews with contemporary witnesses. … Svetlana Alexievich is one of those authors who, countering all experience and all the probabilities, explains through her writing what the world wants to change. This makes Svetlana Alexievich dangerous. … Perhaps the most definitive indication of the literary and journalistic quality of her work is that in her home country Belarus, which has been languishing under the stranglehold of dictator Alexander Lukashenko since 1994, it is banned from publication."

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