Belarussian author Svetlana Alexievich has won the Nobel Prize for Literature for her portrayal of life in the former Soviet Union, which the Swedish Academy said was ''a monument to suffering and courage in our time''. Katharine Jackson reports.
Cameras encircle Belarussian author Svetlana Alexievich...the newly announced winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. Born in 1948 in Ukraine, Alexievich spent years living in exile abroad --- in Sweden, Germany and France --- after criticizing the Belarus government. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) WINNER OF NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE, SVETLANA ALEXIEVICH, SAYING: "This is not only a prize for me, but a prize - I think - as a whole for our culture, for our small country, which all the time, throughout its history and now as well, has been between some millstones, it always has been pressed from all sides." Alexievich won for her works portraying life in the former Soviet Union...stories of Soviet women during the Second World War, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the Russian war in Afghanistan, all told from the perspective of ordinary citizens. The Nobel academy said Alexievich's books are like a "musical composition" and "a monument to suffering and courage in our time".