- 9,49 €
Selected as a Book of the Year 2019 by The Times and Telegraph
'Astonishing. . . Like the great Russian novels, these testimonials ring with emotional truth' - Caroline Moorehead, Guardian
Extraordinary stories about what it was like to be a Soviet child during the upheaval and horror of the Second World War, from Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich
What did it mean to grow up in the Soviet Union during the Second World War? In the late 1970s, Svetlana Alexievich started interviewing people who had experienced war as children, the generation that survived and had to live with the trauma that would forever change the course of the Russian nation. With remarkable care and empathy, Alexievich gives voice to those whose stories are lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history of one of the most important events of the twentieth century.Published to great acclaim in the USSR in 1985 and now available in English for the first time, this masterpiece offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human consequences of the war - and an extraordinary chronicle of the Russian soul.
In this moving work of oral history, originally published in 1985 and appearing in English for the first time, Nobel-winning journalist Alexievich collages together WWII survivors' accounts. The book brings together engrossing and frequently graphic testimonies from 101 Russians who were under the age of 15 at the time of the events described. Absent a historical timeline or, indeed, any prose in Alexievich's voice there is a subtle chronological and geographic movement; the memories move from town to town between the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 and the Nazi surrender in May 1945. The interviewees recall the hunger not assuaged by grass or potatoes, the sounds and the smells of war, the abuse they suffered (one was used to detect mines and another, then six, suffered "nine bullet wounds"), the crushing losses ("I never found my mama and papa, I don't even know my real last name"), and the horrifying events ("Our neighbors... were hanging from the well pole," one recounts; another remembers seeing his mother shot to death in the street). This disturbing and inspiring literary monument to the human, humane spirit that survives unimaginable horror brings to life the devastation of war.