Last Witnesses

Last Witnesses by Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky Book Summary

“A masterpiece” (The Guardian) from the Nobel Prize–winning writer, an oral history of children’s experiences in World War II across Russia

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

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 for inventing “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.” 

Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, Last Witnesses is Alexievich’s collection of the memories of those who were children during World War II. They had sometimes been soldiers as well as witnesses, and their generation grew up with the trauma of the war deeply embedded—a trauma that would change the course of the Russian nation. 

Collectively, this symphony of children’s stories, filled with the everyday details of life in combat, reveals an altogether unprecedented view of the war. Alexievich gives voice to those whose memories have been lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history from the personal and private experiences of individuals. 

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

Praise for Last Witnesses

“There is a special sort of clear-eyed humility to [Alexievich’s] reporting.”The Guardian

“A bracing reminder of the enduring power of the written word to testify to pain like no other medium. . . . Children survive, they grow up, and they do not forget. They are the first and last witnesses.”The New Republic

“A profound triumph.”—The Big Issue

“[Alexievich] excavates and briefly gives prominence to demolished lives and eradicated communities. . . . It is impossible not to turn the page, impossible not to wonder whom we next might meet, impossible not to think differently about children caught in conflict.”The Washington Post

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Last Witnesses (Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky) Book Reviews

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@bellanaija: Governor Sanwo-Olu just said no fatality was recorded last night. However, eyewitnesses say at least 7 people were killed…

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@bellanaija: Governor Sanwo-Olu just said no fatality was recorded last night. However, eyewitnesses say at least 7 people were killed…

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Appeal following arson at allotments in Maesgeirchen Bangor. Three sheds and a poly tunnel destroyed around 11.20p…

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@ivie_okujaye: I'll admit. The last 18hours has got the better of me. Emotionally & mentally drained. Can't imagine what the witnesses a…

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@bellanaija: Governor Sanwo-Olu just said no fatality was recorded last night. However, eyewitnesses say at least 7 people were killed…

5 star

@ivie_okujaye: I'll admit. The last 18hours has got the better of me. Emotionally & mentally drained. Can't imagine what the witnesses a…

5 star

@bellanaija: Governor Sanwo-Olu just said no fatality was recorded last night. However, eyewitnesses say at least 7 people were killed…

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BREAKING NEWS: A Georgia man has been caught stealing a toaster at the Beach. They were last seen biking away down…

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I'll admit. The last 18hours has got the better of me. Emotionally & mentally drained. Can't imagine what the witne…

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@feyixa: Eye witnesses say they counted 78 dead. Yet, Sanwo wants to claim nobody died last night. They took down the cameras, turned of…

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@FIONADONOHOE2: @MarymoBelfast 2 witnesses who viewed Noah naked with their own eyes and saw his bike left alone at dead end of street (…

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BREAKING NEWS: A Alabama man has been caught stealing an ATM at the Beach. They were last seen driving away down Hi…

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@bellanaija: Governor Sanwo-Olu just said no fatality was recorded last night. However, eyewitnesses say at least 7 people were killed…

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BREAKING NEWS: A Florida woman has been caught eating a toaster at the Beach. They were last seen biking away down…

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@MPSIslington: #APPEAL Detectives investigating the murder of Kamal Nuur in #Islington last month have made two further arrests as they…

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