It is the first time the prominent Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich has met with her admirers in Minsk since she won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature in October. Then the Belarusian officials ignored her success. They might have repeatedly refused to sanction holding her meeting with readers in Belarus as well.
“I wrote the encyclopedia of the ‘red utopia’. I think I said everything I could. Good literature is distinguished by the taste for metaphysics which is in love and death,” Svetlana Alexievich said.
“I am currently working on a new book about love. It is not devoted to social [problems] – it is about men and women, about eternal and human things. What is the most difficult for me is to understand the males and the youth. It is easy to say “Oh, they are just youngsters!” But they are quite different people,” the Nobel Prize winner admitted.
The Small Hall of the Palace of Republic which holds nearly 500 people, was full. At the meeting the book “Alexievich At Svaboda” was presented by the Union of Belarusian Writers and Radio Svaboda (RFE/RL).
Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko who was visiting Japan while the Belarusian writer was in Ukraine, asked her whether she could stay another day and meet with him.
At the end of the meeting, the Nobel laureate apologized for not granting many interviews.
“I am tired of myself. There are many presentations of my books, I should attend them, and every conversation needs concentration.”
After the meeting, the fans patiently stood in a two-hour line for the first Belarusian Nobel laureate’s autograph; Svetlana Alexievich managed to have a word with each of them. Five pens were used up at the autograph signing session.
Svetlana Alexievich will be the honorary chairperson of the organising commitee of the Chernobyl Path (Charnobylski Shlyakh) in 2016