Svetlana Aleksandrovna Alexievich was born on 31 May, 1948 in Ivano-Frankovsko (Ukraine) into a military family. After her father’s decommissioning from the army, the family moved to his homeland, Belarus, where her parents worked as village teachers.
After graduated from school, she worked as a correspondent for the local newspaper. In 1967, she applied to the journalism faculty at the Belorussian State University. During her studies, she won national and Soviet competitions for academic work.
After finishing university, she continued working for the local newspaper, taught in the village school. She then worked as an editor of the national “Village News, and later became a correspondent and features/publicity editor of the literary and artistic journal “Nieman.” Aleksiyevich’s first book, “I Left the Wilderness,” was composed by directive of the propaganda division of Belarus’ Central Committee, and her 1983 book “The Unwomanly Face of War” was only published after the beginning ofperestroika, in 1985. Immediately after its release, the book “The Last Witnesses” (1985) saw the light of day, followed by “Zinky Boys” (1989), “Enchanted with Death” (1993), and “Voices from Chernobyl” (1997). The author’s books were published in more than 20 countries, in their entirety comprising 100 printings. 20 documentaries were filmed based on Svetlana Alexievich’s works, and a series of stage productions was produced.