On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history occurred in Chernobyl. Although this was one of the most devastating tragedies ever, until now, no book has appeared in English giving the inside story of what happened to the people living in Belarus, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they lived through. A journalist by trade, ...
On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear accident in history occurred in Chernobyl. Although this was one of the most devastating tragedies ever, until now, no book has appeared in English giving the inside story of what happened to the people living in Belarus, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they lived through. A journalist by trade, Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people in Belarus affected by the meltdown. From residents of Chernobyl to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster, Voices from Chernobyl is a crucial document of what happened and how people reacted to it. Alexievich presents these interviews in monologue form, giving readers a harrowing inside view into the minds of those affected untempered by government spin, detailing the tragedy and devastation.
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-02-28 A chorus of fatalism, stoic bravery and black, black humor is sounded in this haunting oral history of the 1986 nuclear reactor catastrophe in what is now northeastern Ukraine. Russian journalist Alexievich records a wide array of voices: a woman who clings to her irradiated, dying husband though nurses warn her "that's not a person anymore, that's a nuclear reactor"; a hunter dispatched to evacuated villages to exterminate the household pets; soldiers sent in to clean up the mess, bitter at the callous, incompetent Soviet authorities who "flung us there, like sand on the reactor," but accepting their lot as a test of manhood; an idealistic nuclear engineer whose faith in communism is shattered. And there are the local peasants who take this latest in a long line of disasters in stride, filtering back to their homes to harvest their contaminated potatoes, shrugging that if they survived the Germans, they'll survive radiation. Alexievich shapes these testimonies into novelistic "monologues" that convey a vivid portrait of late-Communist malaise, in which bullying party bosses, paranoid propaganda and chaotic mobilizations are resisted with bleak sarcasm ("It wasn't milk, it was a radioactive byproduct"), mournful philosophizing ("[t]he mechanism of evil will work under conditions of apocalypse") and lots of vodka. The result is an indelible X-ray of the Russian soul. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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