Oral historian and Belarusian author, Svetlana Alexievich, was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for literature, an amazing feat on many levels. She is the first from her country and only the fourteenth woman to win the coveted prize since 1901, but what I find most exciting is the acknowledgement of her work, which focuses on personal history.
If that doesn’t confirm how important writing our life stories is, I don’t know what will. Even the Nobel committee says our individual experiences are worth writing and reading.
Alexievich says she writes “the history of human feelings” and leaves it to others to document the facts and events. Her work captures the voices of Soviet and post-Soviet individuals in what has been called a “carefully constructed collage of interviews.” To read an article about Alexievich receiving the Nobel Prize, click here.