Second-hand Time, out in paperback for the first time, is the latest work from Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for inventing ‘a new kind of literary genre’. Here she brings together the voices of dozens of witnesses to the collapse of the USSR in a formidable attempt to chart the disappearance of a culture and to surmise what new kind of man may emerge from the rubble. Fashioning a singular, polyphonic literary form by combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, Alexievich creates a magnificent requiem to a civilization in ruins, a brilliant, poignant and unique portrait of post-Soviet society out of the stories of ordinary women and men.
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