Svetlana Alexievich was born in Ivano-Frankisvsk in 1948. She has spent most of her life in Belarus (formerly the USSR), with prolonged periods of exile in Western Europe. She started out as a journalist, developing her own style of non-fiction, in which she compiled different voices to describe a historical moment. Her books include The Unwomanly Face of War, Boys in Zinc and Voices from Chernobyl (1997). She has won numerous international awards, including the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature for "her polyphonic writing, a monument to suffering and courage in our time". Other awards include the Sandro Onofri Prize for Narrative Non-fiction (2002), the National Book Critics’ Circle Award (2005), the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award for Literary Reportage (2011), the German Book Association’s Peace Prize (2013) and the Medici Essay Prize (2013).