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Modern Classics: Chernobyl Prayer: A Chronicle of the Future Paperback – Jul 25 2017

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic (July 25 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780241270530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241270530
  • ASIN: 0241270537
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,029 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The last book that made me cry... incredible -- Joe Dunthorne * Guardian * This masterly new translation by Anna Gunin and Arch Tait retains the nerve and pulse of the Russian, conveying the angst and confusion of the narrators -- Serguei Alex. Oushakine * Times Literary Supplement * Her interviews go on for hours. She goes back for more. She transcribes. She discards three-quarters of her material. She polishes. She takes pains to convey the cadence of a person's words. It shows. The distilled work goes deep into the subject. She is after the ephemeral; the emotion behind written history; the "history of the soul." Here, she believes, is where the truth lies -- Vanora Bennett * Prospect * Alexievich retreats into the wings to let her subjects speak. But this is the art that conceals art. Her editor's flair for selection, contrast and emphasis, her almost cinematic touch with cuts, pans and close-ups, make her a documentary virtuoso -- Boyd Tonkin * Spectator * Through her books and her life itself, Alexievich has gained probably the world's deepest, most eloquent understanding of the post-Soviet condition -- Masha Gessen * New Yorker * Awarding the Nobel Prize for Literature to Svetlana Alexievich is a brilliant choice that recalibrates the status of "non-fiction" in the literary canon -- Arifa Akbar * Independent * [Alexievich] has become one of my heroes -- Atul Gawande Alexievich serves no ideology, only an ideal: to listen closely enough to the ordinary voices of her time to orchestrate them into extraordinary books -- Philip Gourevitch * New Yorker * Not merely a work of documentation but of excavation, of revealed meaning. It is hard to imagine how anyone in the West will read these cantos of loss and not feel a sense of communion, of a shared humanity -- Andrew Meier * The Nation * Alexievich assembles the previously silenced or unsung heroes into a chorus that has the power to move, stun and inspire awe. The result is a remarkable oral history, an essential read -- Malcolm Forbes * Herald Scotland * A moving piece of polyphony, skilfully assembled from what must have been a huge mass of material... We are living in Alexievich's 'age of disasters'. This haunting book offers us at least some ways of thinking about that predicament -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * New Statesman * Alexievich's documentary approach makes the experiences vivid, sometimes almost unbearably so - but it's a remarkably democratic way of constructing a book... When you consider the extent to which she has been traversing the irradiated landscape, you realise she has put herself on the line in a way very few authors ever do -- Nicholas Lezard * Guardian * One of the most humane and terrifying books I've ever read -- Helen Simpson * Observer * A searing mix of eloquence and wordlessness... From her interviewees' monologues she creates history that the reader, at whatever distance from the events, can actually touch -- Julian Evans * Daily Telegraph * A beautifully written book, it's been years since I had to look away from a page because it was just too heart-breaking to go on. Give me beautiful prose and I'll follow you anywhere -- Arundhati Roy * Elle * Absolutely fantastic -- Karl Ove Knausgaard A collage of oral testimony that turns into the psycho-biography of a nation not shown on any map... The book leaves radiation burns on the brain -- Julian Barnes * Guardian *

About the Author

Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano-Frankivsk in 1948 and has spent most of her life in the Soviet Union and present-day Belarus, with prolonged periods of exile in Western Europe. Starting out as a journalist, she developed her own, distinctive non-fiction genre which brings together a chorus of voices to describe a specific historical moment. Her works include The Unwomanly Face of War (1985), Last Witnesses (1985), Boys in Zinc (1991), Chernobyl Prayer (1997) and Second-Hand Time (2013). She has won many international awards, including the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for 'her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time'.

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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
Emmett H
5.0 out of 5 starsDevastating and very, very real.
September 29, 2018 - Published on
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5.0 out of 5 starsIt is sooo clear how the average citizen is viewed -- basically like cannon fodder
October 4, 2017 - Published on
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d cooley
5.0 out of 5 starsA different look into the Chernobyl disaster and the aftermath ...
April 4, 2018 - Published on
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Susan Urban
5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
April 7, 2018 - Published on
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Elizabeth Knox
5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
February 21, 2018 - Published on
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