Belarusian writer and journalist Svetlana Alexievich has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first journalist to win the award.
She was awarded the 8 million Swedish kronor (approx. US$972,000) prize by the Swedish Academy “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”.
Ms Alexievich is known for her writing on major events during the era of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. Her best known works in English translation include Voices From Chernobyl, an oral history of the nuclear disaster and Zinky Boys, a collection of first-hand accounts from the Soviet-Afghan war.
“By means of her extraordinary method — a carefully composed collage of human voices — Alexievich deepens our comprehension of an entire era,” the Swedish Academy stated.
Her first book, War’s Unwomanly Face, based on the stories of women who had taken part in the Second World War, was published in 1985.
Ms Alexievich is the 14th woman to win the literature prize. She was born in Ukraine in 1948 and moved to Belarus with her family as a child.