Who Is Nobel Prize Winner for Literature Svetlana Alexievich?

Svetlana Alexievich
Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich is seen during a book fair in Minsk, Belarus, in this February 8, 2014 file photo. Alexievich won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature, the award-giving body announced on October 8, 2015. Stringer/Reuters

Belarusian writer and journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for literature for her "polyphonic writings," according to the prize's website.

Announcing the prize in Stockholm, the chair of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius, called her writing "a monument to courage and suffering in our time," according to BBC News.

Alexievich was born May 31, 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankovsk, according to the author's blog. Her best-known works in English translation include Voices From Chernobyl, a collection of personal tragedies from the 1986 nuclear accident, as well as Boys in Zinc, a collection of first-hand accounts from the Soviet-Afghan war.

War's Unwomanly Face, a collection of monologues from women speaking about lesser-known aspects of the Second World War, has sold over two million copies. It has since been adapted into various theater productions and documentaries in Belarus.

She has been awarded 11 international book awards in total, including the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2005 for Voices From Chernobyl. Her four nonfiction books have been published in 19 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, China and Japan.

In 2000, the author left Belarus after being targeted by the Lukashenko regime. She had her telephone bugged, was accused of being a member of the CIA and forbidden from making public appearances. After spending a decade in Paris, she moved to back to her home country in 2011.

According to The Guardian newspaper, her next book is due out in 2016 and will be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Alexievich is the fourteenth woman to be awarded the prize, out of 111 winners, since it was established in 1901.