Second-Hand Time

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9781910695111: Second-Hand Time
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Shortlisted for the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize.

Second-hand Time is the latest work from Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature. Here she brings together the voices of dozens of witnesses to the collapse of the USSR in a formidable attempt to chart the disappearance of a culture and to surmise what new kind of man may emerge from the rubble. Fashioning a singular, polyphonic literary form by combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, Alexievich creates a magnificent requiem to a civilization in ruins, a brilliant, poignant and unique portrait of post-Soviet society out of the stories of ordinary women and men.

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Review:

'In this spellbinding book, Svetlana Alexievich orchestrates a rich symphony of Russian voices telling their stories of love and death, joy and sorrow, as they try to make sense of the twentieth century, so tragic for their country.' --J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature

'Second-hand Time is [Alexievich's] most ambitious work: many women and a few men talk about the loss of the Soviet idea, the post-Soviet ethnic wars, the legacy of the Gulag, and other aspects of the Soviet experience...Through her books and her life itself, Alexievich has gained probably the world's deepest, most eloquent understanding of the post-Soviet condition.'- Masha Gessen, New Yorker

'The people she talks to, the co-authors of her books, are working people, women and elderly people- precisely those who are left behind...Alexievich's voices are those of the people no one cares about, but the ones whose lives constitute the vast majority of what history actually is...This is history, major history, but written, as all history should be, from below.' --Keith Gessen, Guardian

'A series of monologues by people across the former Soviet empire, it is Tolstoyan in scope, driven by the idea that history is made not only by major players but also by ordinary people talking in their kitchens.'- Rachel Donadio, New York Times

'Alexievich's work follows the strands of thought and emotion wherever her voices take her- through nightmares, but also flashes of joy...The work is unique in the intimacy of the experience transmitted through the writing: which is, after all, only the ability to have a human ear, to listen and to publish.' --John Lloyd, Financial Times

From the Back Cover:

In this magnificent requiem to a civilization in ruins, the winne of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature reinvents a singular, polyphonic literary form, bringing together the voices of dozens of witnesses to the collapse of the USSR in a formidable attempt to chart the disappearance of a culture and to surmise what new kind of man may emerge from the rubble.Alexievich's method is simple: 'I don't ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age. Music,dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life. This is the only way to chase the catastrophe into theframework of the mundane and attempt to tell a story. Try to figure things out. It never ceases to amaze me how interestingordinary, everyday life is. There are an endless number of human truths...History's sole concern is the facts; emotions areout of its realm of interest. It's considered improper to admit feelings into history. I look at the world as a writer, not strictlyan historian. I am fascinated by people...'From this fascination emerges a brilliant, poignant and unique portrait of post-Soviet society, built on the traumatismsof its predecessors' collapse.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9788193237243: Second-Hand Time

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  8193237242 ISBN 13:  9788193237243
Publisher: Juggernaut Publication, 2016
Hardcover

9789386228697: Second-Hand Time [Paperback] Svetlana Alexievich

Jugger..., 2018
Softcover

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