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Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich, born in 1948 in Belarus, is the author of War Doesn’t Have a Woman’s Face which brought official accusations of “pacifism and an unheroic portrayal of the Soviet woman” and subsequent persecution.

With Perestroika came the lifting of the ban on her book, The Boys of Zinc, which deconstructed the myth of the Soviet-Afghan war. The book was attacked by the military and Communists alike, and in 1992 Alexievich was subjected to a political court suit which was later stopped after protests from international human rights watch groups.

Frequently attacked by the Loukachenko regime, Alexeivitch was accused of being a member of the CIA, had her telephone bugged, and was forbidden from making public appearances. In 2000 she was provided refuge under the International Network of Cities of Asylum and now resides in Paris.