Books Other Recommendations

Zinky Boys

Zinky Boys: Sovviet Voices from the Afghanistan War by Svetlana Alexievich

Non-fiction suggested by Shirley Gaines

Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in Literature. She is Byelorussian. Her books are a mixture of memoir, current history from what she has witnessed in her sector of the world. I will try to find one I especially think might be good. Any are worth the era.

I’d like to suggest Svetlana Alexievich not only because she’s a woman, but because she’s tackled her subject from a different slant. She writes from many voices. The Swedish Academy, Svenska Akademien, press release termed it “polyphonic” — many sounds. The book is one of oral histories, a non-fiction.

I have not read Alexievich. Some of her earlier work is out of print. I want to suggest Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War. This is about the ten year period of Soviet engagement in Afghanistan (the Russian Vietnam), about the thousands of troops killed, injured, grossly ignored, and statistically hidden from their countrymen. People do not know what’s going on, and Svetlana Alexievich made sure these stories of those who couldn’t tell them, would be told.