Voices from Chernobyl

Front Cover
Dalkey Archive Press, 2005 - History - 240 pages
On April 25, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl. Until now, all of the books published in English focused on the facts, names, and data. Voices from Chernobyl presents first-hand accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they lived through. In order to give a voice to their experiences, Svetlana Alexievich--a journalist by trade--interviewed hundreds of people who had been affected by the meltdown. From innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster, Voices from Chernobyl is a crucial document of what happened and how people reacted to it. Alexievich presents these interviews in monologue form, giving readers a harrowing inside view into the minds of the affected people untempered by government spin, accusations, or judgements, leaving the reader with just the life-shattering pain of living through such an event and its aftermath.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pajarita - LibraryThing

...................................... " ...no one knows what Chernobyl is." .....Valentina Panasevich, wife of a liquidator. "I used to think I could understand everything and express everything ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - apsing01 - LibraryThing

This book was fascinating. I have seen pictures and watched television shows on Chernobyl but actually reading the words spoken by true survivors was heart-wrenching. I think that this book is a very ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

A Solitary Human Voice
5
On Why We Remember
25
About What Can Be Talked about with the Living and the Dead
27
About a Whole Life Written down on Doors
34
By Those Who Returned
36
About What Radiation Looks Like
50
About a Song without Words
53
About a Homeland
54
Death Can Be So Beautiful
155
About the Shovel and the Atom
158
About Taking Measurements
165
About How the Frightening Things in Life Happen Quietly and Naturally
167
About Answers
174
About Memories
177
About Loving Physics
179
About Expensive Salami
185

About How a Person Is Only Clever and Refined in Evil
64
Soldiers Chorus
67
About Old Prophecies
85
About a Moonlit Landscape
88
About a Man Whose Tooth Was Hurting When He Saw Christ Fall
90
About a Single Bullet
96
About How We Cant Live without Chekhov and Tolstoy
104
About War Movies
109
A Scream
118
About a New Nation
119
About Writing Chernobyl
126
About Lies and Truths
133
Peoples Chorus
143
About Freedom and the Dream of an Ordinary Death
187
About the Shadow of Death
193
About a Damaged Child
197
About Political Strategy
199
By a Defender of the Soviet Government
205
About Instructions
206
About the Limitless Power One Person Can Have over Another
210
About Why We Love Chernobyl
217
Childrens Chorus
221
A Solitary Human Voice
225
In Place of an Epilogue
239
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Svetlana Alexievich was born in the Ukraine and studied journalism at the University of Minsk. She has received numerous awards for her writing, including a prize from the Swedish PEN Institute for "courage and dignity as a writer." She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2015.

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 All the Sad Young Literary Men.

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