An account of the worst nuclear reactor accident in history from the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown--from innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster--and their stories reveal the fear, anger, and uncertainty with which they still live. Composed of interviews in monologue form, Voices from Chernobyl is a crucially important work of immense force, unforgettable in its emotional power and honesty and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner.
Svetlana Alexievich was born in the Ukraine and studied journalism at the University of Minsk. Her books, including Voices from Chernobyl, document the emotional history of Soviet and post-Soviet life through interviews. Alexievich has received numerous awards for her writing, including a prize from the Swedish PEN Institute for "courage and dignity as a writer." She was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2015 "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time." Translator Keith Gessen was born in Russia and educated at Harvard. He is a founding editor of n+1 and has written about literature and culture for Dissent, The Nation, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books. He is the author of the novel A Terrible Country and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.