Svetlana Alexievich, a prominent Belarusian writer and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2015, is currently working on another book. Since late September, she has been staying abroad.
In an interview with the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the author said she was going to elaborate on the situation in which the Belarusian people had found themselves on the back of the 2020 presidential election.
When asked if she was writing a book about the recent development in her native country, Alexievich answered: “Yes, I am. According to [the great Russian writer Anton] Chekhov, the task of literature is to make a diagnosis.”
“Lots of people call me, send their memories,” she noted.
In her opinion, now the Belarusian people have to live ‘between two dangers – Lukashenka and Russia’.
“We do want to create an independent prosperous country. But how? I am a writer, not a politician, I am looking for the answer to this question in my book,” Alexievich stressed.
In her view, the Belarusians have been striving for ‘a kind of non-violent revolution: “We were eager to achieve it [victory] without bloodshed. It was an idealistic plan.”
The famous writer is the only one of the seven members of the opposition Coordination Council board who has not been directly affected by the Belarusian authorities’ harsh measures against the initiative. The other representatives were jailed (Liliya Ulasava, Maryia Kalesnikava, Maksim Znak) or compelled to leave the country (Pavel Latushka, Volha Kavalkova, Syarhei Dyleuski, ).
On September 9, unknown people were trying to get into the apartment of Svetlana Alexievich; some weeks later, she departed from Belarus.
“The authorities have already tried to arrest me. And sooner or later they would have done it. It is a startling situation when one knows they might get arrested. None of us could believe it until recently,” the writer said.
In February, Svetlana Alexievich said that she would never have left Belarus if not for the state of her health. “And I would like to return to a new country,” she added.