Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich was born 1948 in Ukraine, and writes in Russian. In 2015, she was awarded the Literature Nobel Prize for her "polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."
Alexievich's narratives describing the horrors of the 20th-century are based on witness accounts and years of personal interviews. She has written on wrote World War II, the dramatic break-up of the former Soviet Union, the Chernobyl disaster and the war in Afghanistan, frequently focusing on the unheard voices of women and children. Alexievich fled political persecution under the Lukashenko regime in Belarus to Paris, Gothenburg and Berlin, before returning to Minsk in 2011.
Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich has voiced doubt that elections taking place in her country will be free and fair. The writer, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature this week, said Belarus was a "soft dictatorship."