Voices from Chernobyl The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich

Svetlana Alexievich
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015
“for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”


I sob, and sob. My heart wrenched. Some book can really damaged your soul. I want to faint for now.
“There are ten million Belarusians, and two million of us live on poisoned land. It’s a huge evil laboratory.”
“My baby was born dead. She was missing two fingers”
I finished “Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster” last weekend and have been having difficulty to write my final thoughts about it. It was one of the toughest reading and emotionally drained. This book is a collection of interviews of witnesses and testimonial of the people involved and experienced Chernobyl. I’d learned a bunch about the countries in this part of the world since I knew very little about them. But most of what I took away were the very details about life and people who went through and suffered from this catastropheーthe villagers, the press, the scientist, the Communist members, the soldiers, the engineers, the liquidator, the historian and on and on. Many different perspectives portrayed so many dimension not only the about the disastrous situation itself but also about life and death of mankind.
“They wouldn’t let anyone film that, it was forbidden. If anyone manage to record any of it, the authorities immediately took the film and returned it ruined. We don’t have a chronicle of how they evacuate people, how they moved out the livestock. They didn’t allow anyone to film the tragedy, only the heroic.”
 “Death is the fairest thing in the world. No one’s ever gotten out of it. The earth takes everyone – the kind, the cruel, the sinners. Aside from that, there’s no fairness on earth.”
“Is there anything more frightening than people?”
“This is for thousands of years, The decomposition of uranium: that’s 238 half lives. Translate into time: that’s billion years. And for thorium: it’s fourteen billion year”
Of course I’ll say oh my god that’s horrible and then I would go on and eat my dinner and forget about it. But at least today I know and I hope that more people will pay a little more attention on what’s going on in our world and how we can contribute for the good….
I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

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