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    9780399588754 Hardback, $40 CAD 9780399588778 Electronic book text, EPUB 9781524708467 Downloadable audio file
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:Jun 16, 2020 Carton Quantity:24 $24.00 CAD
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Last Witnesses
An Oral History of the Children of World War II
By (author): Svetlana Alexievich Translated by: Richard Pevear Translated by: Larissa Volokhonsky
9780399588761 Paperback, Trade English General Trade HISTORY / Military / World War II Jun 16, 2020
$24.00 CAD
Active 5.17 x 7.98 x 0.67 in | 0.5 lb 320 pages Random House Trade Paperback Random House Trade Paperbacks
From the Nobel Prize-winning author comes an oral history of children’s experiences in WWII across Europe and Russia, in the celebrated tradition of her masterpiece, The Unwomanly Face of War.

Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, Last Witnesses is Svetlana Alexievich’s collection of the memories of those who were children during World War II. These men and women were both witnesses and sometimes soldiers as well, and their generation grew up with the trauma of the war deeply embedded in them—a trauma that would forever change the course of the Russian nation. This is a new version of the war we’re so familiar with. Alexievich gives voice to those whose stories are lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history from the personal and private experiences of individuals. Collectively, these voices provide a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human consequences of the war.

Story Locale: Europe and Russia, WWII

Publication History: Modern Library HC (7/19)

WINNER OF THE 2015 NOBEL PRIZE IN LITERATURE “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

INTERNATIONAL EVENT: Rights have sold in 47 countries and 43 languages so far, with more to come. We are publishing simultaneously with the UK.

TRANSLATORS Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s editions of the Russian classics (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, etc.) are definitive, used by nearly every student and general reader.

In this book, Alexievich continues her NEW, ALTERNATIVE FORM OF HISTORY, USING ORDINARY PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES to focus on the human side of the war and what it was like for everyday people, rather than on the battles and troop movements.

The English translation of Alexievich’s Secondhand Time, was a NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, a New York Times Notable Book, and both a Washington Post and Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2016. The English translation of The Unwomanly Face of War was a NATIONAL BESTSELLER and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR, and The Economist.

Svetlana Alexievich is the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. She has received numerous additional awards for her writing, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and a prize from the Swedish PEN Institute for “courage and dignity as a writer.” She was born in Ukraine and studied journalism at the University of Minsk.

Author Residence: Minsk, Belarus

Author Hometown: Ukraine

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Publicity: New in paperback



Author Website: bit.ly/1hs8QTK

Praise for Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”

“[Svetlana] Alexievich presents less a straightforward oral history of World War II than a literary excavation of memory itself.”The New York Times Book Review

“Alexievich has forged her own distinctive identity: as a witness to witnesses who usually go unheard…. In a ‘post-truth’ era when journalism is under pressure—susceptible to propaganda, sensationalism, and ‘alternative facts’—the power of documentary literature stands out more clearly than ever…. Listen to Alexievich.”The Atlantic

“[Alexievich’s] books are woven from hundreds of interviews, in a hybrid form of reportage and oral history that has the quality of a documentary film on paper. But Alexievich is anything but a simple recorder and transcriber of found voices; she has a writerly voice of her own which emerges from the chorus she assembles, with great style and authority, and she shapes her investigations of Soviet and post-Soviet life and death into epic dramatic chronicles as universally essential as Greek tragedies…. A mighty documentarian and a mighty artist.”The New Yorker

“Alexievich has gained probably the world’s deepest, most eloquent understanding of the post-Soviet condition…. [She] has consistently chronicled that which has been intentionally forgotten.”—Masha Gessen

“Alexievich stations herself at a crossroads of history and turns on her tape recorder. The result is oral history that at times can feel more authentic than narrated history. Alexievich makes it feel intimate, as if you are sitting in the kitchen with the characters, sharing in their happiness and agony.”The Washington Post

“Alexievich’s witnesses are those who haven’t had a say. She shows us from these conversations, many of them coming at the confessional kitchen table of Russian apartments, that it’s powerful simply to be allowed to tell one’s own story. This is the kind of history, otherwise almost unacknowledged by today’s dictatorships, that matters.”The Christian Science Monitor

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