Svetlana Alexievich won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.
The 67-year-old Belarusian author, whose work has been published in 19 countries, was honored “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time,” the Swedish Academy said.
Born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine and currently living in Belarus, Alexievich started out as a teacher and a journalist before she began writing books that explored the Soviet identity.
Her first book, “U vojny ne ženskoe lico” (“War’s Unwomanly Face,” 1988), was based on interviews with hundreds of women who fought the Nazis during World War II. According to The Associated Press, it sold more than 2 million copies.
Later books focused on the consequences of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, the Soviet Union’s 1979-1989 war in Afghanistan and life in the Soviet Union as told from the individual perspective. Alexievich also penned three plays and the screenplays for 21 documentary films.
Between 1901 and 2014, the literature prize was awarded to 111 Nobel laureates. Until today, only 13 have been women.
Alexievich will receive a cash prize worth approximately $972,000, Reuters reported. She will also receive a diploma and gold medal during the prize ceremony in December.
The Nobel Peace Prize is scheduled to be announced on Friday.The economics prize will be awarded on Monday.