Nobel Prize for Literature 2015: Svetlana Alexievich becomes 14th woman to win

Belarusian author of The Unwomanly Face of the War will receive the award in December

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The Independent Culture

Svetlana Alexievich was announced as the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature for her writing about the Soviet Union and its collapse, including the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

The 67-year-old from Belarus’ first novel, The Unwomanly Face of the War or U vojny ne ženskoe lico, was published 30 years ago and told the true stories of women who had fought against the Nazis.

She has written short stories, essays and reportage and was heavily influenced by her fellow Belorusian writer Ales Adamovich.

Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, praised the author for developing “a new kind of literary genre” based on real interviews.

Nobel judges hailed her mixture of skills - as a journalist, playwright and screenwriter - and the chair of the Swedish Academy called her writing “a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

She becomes the fourteenth female winner of the Nobel Prize which has been awarded to 107 men.

Last year’s award went to French author Patrick Modiano.

The Nobel announcements continue this week with the Nobel Peace Prize set to be revealed tomorrow and the economics award on Monday.

All awards will be given out during a ceremony on 10 December which is the anniversary of the prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death.

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