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The Unwomanly Face of War

(2017)
A non fiction book by

 
A long-awaited English translation of the groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia - from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"But why? I asked myself more than once. Why, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history? Their words and feelings? They did not believe themselves. A whole world is hidden from us. Their war remains unknown . . . I want to write the history of that war. A women's history." - Svetlana Alexievich

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of "a new kind of literary genre," describing her work as "a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul."

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women - more than a million in total - were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.

Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women's stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war - the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories.

Translated by the renowned Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Unwomanly Face of War is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century, a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war.

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

"A landmark in the study of female soldiers . . . [Svetlana Alexievich's] method is the close interrogation of the past through the collection of individual voices; patient in overcoming cliche, attentive to the unexpected, and restrained in exposition, her writing reaches those far beyond her own experiences and preoccupations, far beyond her generation, and far beyond the lands of the former Soviet Union." - Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

"[Alexievich moves] away from military narrative and [tells] the tales of Soviet women who took on male roles, fought on the front lines, killed and got killed, but still looked at the shattered world around them from a feminine perspective, focusing on human suffering and basic emotions free of any pathos." - Newsweek

"A mighty documentarian and a mighty artist . . . [Alexievich] shapes her investigations of Soviet and post-Soviet life and death into epic dramatic chronicles as universally essential as Greek tragedies." - The New Yorker

"In her distinctive nonfiction style, a mix of her own reflections and transcribed, edited interviews with diverse Russians who have lived through decades of hardship, Alexievich focuses on women who recounted to her amazing stories of their participation in World War II. . . . Essential reading full of remarkable emotional wealth." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Whatever you thought you knew about the war, you should put it aside and listen to the voices here." - Library Journal

"Lyrical, elegant . . . Alexievich's first book remains as soulful as ever." - Publishers Weekly

 
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Used availability for Svetlana Alexievich's The Unwomanly Face of War


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

July 2017 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II
Author(s): Svetlana Alexievich
ISBN: 0-399-58872-8 / 978-0-399-58872-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

July 2017 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: The Unwomanly Face of War (Penguin Classics)
Author(s): Svetlana Alexievich
ISBN: 0-14-198352-3 / 978-0-14-198352-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Availability: Amazon UK   

Kindle Editions

July 2017 : UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: The Unwomanly Face of War (Penguin Classics)
Author(s): Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Availability: Amazon UK   

July 2017 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumbTitle: The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II
Author(s): Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


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