2015 Nobel prize winning author to speak at Cambridge Literary Festival

Svetlana Alexievich. Picture: Margarita Kabakova. ANL-161205-162310001
Svetlana Alexievich. Picture: Margarita Kabakova. ANL-161205-162310001
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The winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature, Svetlana Alexievich, is appearing at The Cambridge Union Society at 6.30pm on Tuesday, May 31 as part of the Cambridge Literary Festival.

She joins the festival one month on from the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster to offer a unique portrait of Russia and the USSR.

Using oral histories and eye witness accounts from the people that lived through the horror of Chernobyl and the implosion of the Soviet Union.

Using oral histories and eye witness accounts from the people that lived through the horror of Chernobyl and the implosion of the Soviet Union, Alexievich creates a polyphonic chorus of voices In her utterly devastating, compelling and absorbing accounts of human experience that earned her the Nobel Prize.

She discusses her new book Second-hand Time, translated by Bela Shayevich (Fitzcarraldo Editions, May 2016), and the new translation of Chernobyl Prayer (Penguin Classics, April 2016), translated by Anna Gunin and Arch Tait.

The event is in Russian with an English translator.

Cambridge Literary Festival is one of the leading literary festivals in the UK, hosting two festivals each year (spring and winter) plus a series of one-off events which present leading lights from the worlds of comedy and current affairs, history and hip-hop, finance and fiction, science and Shakespeare, poetry and politics.

Cathy Moore, Festival Director of Cambridge Literary Festival, says: “It is a wonderful privilege to be hosting Svetlana Alexievich whose constant courage in providing a voice for the ordinary Russians, so often forgotten or dispossessed, is a shining example of what it takes to be a truly independent witness.”

English PEN is the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries, as well as a founding member of the Free Word Centre. English PEN campaigns to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk.

Catherine Taylor, Deputy Director of English PEN, says: ‘Svetlana Alexievich is a tireless chronicler of voices which might not otherwise be heard.

“Her oral histories of the lives of ordinary people in war and conflict are unsurpassable.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Cambridge Literary Festival and Fitzcarraldo Editions on what promises to be an exceptional event.”

Call the box office on 01223 300085 or visit www.adcticketing.com.

More info at www.cambridgeliteraryfestival.com