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The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich

The Unwomanly Face of War

The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich
Hardcover
Jul 25, 2017 | 384 Pages
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    Jul 25, 2017 | 384 Pages

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    Jul 25, 2017 | 384 Pages

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Praise

“Reveals the harrowing, brave, and even quotidian memories of Soviet women whose voices were nearly stifled by the mores of history. These accounts fight our ingrained ideas about what makes a war story.”—Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair
 
“Groundbreaking . . . A mosaic of Russian women’s stories—from the home front to the front lines, from foot soldiers to cryptographers to antiaircraft commanders.”Elle

“A landmark in the study of female soldiers . . . [Svetlana Alexievich’s] method is the close interrogation of the past through the collection of individual voices; patient in overcoming cliché, attentive to the unexpected, and restrained in exposition, her writing reaches those far beyond her own experiences and preoccupations, far beyond her generation, and far beyond the lands of the former Soviet Union.”—Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

“Alexievich’s artistry has raised oral history to a totally different dimension. It is no wonder that her brilliant obsession with what Vasily Grossman called ‘the brutal truth of war’ was suppressed for so long by Soviet censors, because her unprecedented pen portraits and interviews reveal the face of war hidden by propaganda.”—Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege

“[Alexievich moves] away from military narrative and [tells] the tales of Soviet women who took on male roles, fought on the front lines, killed and got killed, but still looked at the shattered world around them from a feminine perspective, focusing on human suffering and basic emotions free of any pathos.”Newsweek

“A mighty documentarian and a mighty artist . . . Her books are woven from hundreds of interviews, in a hybrid form of reportage and oral history that has the quality of a documentary film on paper. But Alexievich is anything but a simple recorder and transcriber of found voices; she has a writerly voice of her own which emerges from the chorus she assembles, with great style and authority, and she shapes her investigations of Soviet and post-Soviet life and death into epic dramatic chronicles as universally essential as Greek tragedies.”The New Yorker

“In her distinctive nonfiction style, a mix of her own reflections and transcribed, edited interviews with diverse Russians who have lived through decades of hardship, Alexievich focuses on women who recounted to her amazing stories of their participation in World War II. . . . Essential reading full of remarkable emotional wealth.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Whatever you thought you knew about the war, you should put it aside and listen to the voices here.”Library Journal

“Lyrical, elegant . . . Alexievich’s first book remains as soulful as ever.”Publishers Weekly

“Nobel laureate Alexievich created this riveting oral history in 1985, and it retains its eloquence and often-shocking power in its first English translation.”Booklist

“Alexievich has gained probably the world’s deepest, most eloquent understanding of the post-Soviet condition. . . . [She] has consistently chronicled that which has been intentionally forgotten.”—Masha Gessen

“Alexievich stations herself at a crossroads of history and turns on her tape recorder. The result is oral history that at times can feel more authentic than narrated history. . . . Alexievich makes it feel intimate, as if you are sitting in the kitchen with the characters, sharing in their happiness and agony.”The Washington Post

“Alexievich’s witnesses are those who haven’t had a say. She shows us from these conversations, many of them coming at the confessional kitchen table of Russian apartments, that it’s powerful simply to be allowed to tell one’s own story. . . . This is the kind of history, otherwise almost unacknowledged by today’s dictatorships, that matters.”The Christian Science Monitor

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