The long-awaited translation of the classic oral history of Soviet women's experiences in the Second World War - from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, The Unwomanly Face of War is Svetlana Alexievich's collection of stories from Soviet women who lived through the Second World War: on the front lines, on the home front, and in occupied territories. As Alexievich gives voice to women who are absent from official narratives - captains, sergeants, nurses, snipers, pilots - she shows us a new version of the war we're so familiar with, creating an extraordinary alternative history from their private stories.
Published in 1985 in Russia and now available in English for the first time, The Unwomanly Face of War was Alexievich's first book and a huge bestseller in the Soviet Union, establishing her as a brilliantly revolutionary writer.
Starting out as a journalist, Alexievich developed her own non-fiction genre, which brings together a chorus of voices to describe a specific historical moment. This is an extract from the lecture she delivered after winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 2015, along with the opening of her book, Chernobyl Prayer