Date Archives May 2019

Chernobyl Prayer: Svetlana Alexievich’s Heart-Breaking Oral History

When I visited Belarus last year, I thought I’d read some Belarusian literature, and what better writer to start with than Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. Alexievich’s Nobel win was unexpected because her books are non-fiction, a kind of oral history (although as this New Republic article points out, she takes considerable liberties with the testimonies she collects). After reading Chernobyl Prayer, though, I can see exactly why she won. I don’t think I’ve ever come away from a single book with such a comprehensive… Read More

April Reading Roundup

Time for another roundup. My month was consumed on the blog with the Radetzky March readalong, but in between that, I also read some other great books. Read on to get my reading recommendations, and let me know how your month went in the comments below. Scattered Sand: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai Wow, this one was powerful. I had no idea that the recent movement of 200 million Chinese peasants is the “biggest mass migration in history”. Hsiao-Hung Pai tells their stories in this book,… Read More