Aleksievich, Svetlana, 1948-

The unwomanly face of war : an oral history of women in World War II / Oral history of women in World War II Svetlana Alexievich ; translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. - First edition. - xliii, 331 pages ; 25 cm

From a conversation with a historian -- A human being is greater than war -- "I don't want to remember..." -- "Grow up, girls... you're still green..." -- "I alone came back to Mama..." -- "Two wars live in our house..." -- "Telephones don't shoot..." -- "They awarded us little medals..." -- "It wasn't me..." -- "I remember those eyes even now..." -- "We didn't shoot..." -- "They needed soldiers... but we also wanted to be beautiful..." -- "Young ladies! Do you know: the Commander of a Sappier Platoon lives only two months..." -- "To see him just once..." -- "About tiny potatoes..." -- "Mama, what's a papa?" -- "And she puts her hand to her heart..." -- "Suddenly we wanted desperately to live..."

"Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, War's Unwomanly Face is Svetlana Alexievich's collection of stories of women's experiences in World War II, both on the front lines, on the home front, and in occupied territories. This is a new, distinct version of the war we're so familiar with. Alexievich gives voice to women whose stories are lost in the official narratives, creating a powerful alternative history from the personal and private stories of individuals. Collectively, these women's voices provide a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of the war. When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize in Literature, they praised her "polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," and cited her for inventing "a new kind of literary genre." Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, added that her work comprises "a history of emotions -- a history of the soul."--Provided by publisher.

Translated from the Russian.

9780399588723 (hardback)


World War, 1939-1945--Women--Soviet Union.
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Russian.
World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Female.
Women and war.

Personal narratives.