Nie-fiksie / Non-fiction: Biografie & Outobiografie / Biography & Autobiography
Nie-fiksie / Non-fiction - Biografie & Outobiografie / Biography & Autobiography
"In this spellbinding book, Svetlana Alexievich orchestrates a rich symphony of Russian voices telling their stories of love and death, joy and sorrow, as they try to make sense of the
twentieth century, so tragic for their country." - JM Coetzee
From the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature comes the first English translation of her latest work, an oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia. Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive documentary style, Second-Hand Time is a monument to the collapse of the USSR, charting the decline of Soviet culture and speculating on what will rise from the ashes of Communism. As in all her books, Alexievich gives voice to women and men whose stories are lost in the official narratives of nation-states, creating a powerful alternative history from the personal and private stories of individuals.
'Communism had an insane plan: to refashion the 'old' breed of man, ancient Adam,' writes Alexievich. 'This was perhaps communism's only achievement. Seventy plus years in the Marxist-Leninist laboratory gave rise to a new kind of man, the Homo sovieticus.' In this magnificent requiem Alexievich's method is simple: 'I don't ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age. Music, dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life...It never ceases to amaze me how interesting ordinary, everyday life is.
There are an endless number of human truths...I am fascinated by people.' From this fascination emerges a hugely important and deeply moving portrait of post-Soviet society. In a nation that likewise grapples with making sense of scattershot historical experience, Alexievich's portraits may make the South African reader draw unexpected and uncomfortable parallels between Russia post-1990 and South Africa post-1994.