Persian readers welcome “Secondhand Time”

June 11, 2021 - 19:7

TEHRAN – The fifth edition of a Persian translation of Belarussian Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich’s book “Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets” has come to Iranian bookstores.

Cheshmeh released the first edition of the book translated from the Russian edition into Persian by Abdolmajid Ahmadi in 2019.

“Secondhand Time” is an oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia.

Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive documentary style, “Secondhand Time” is a monument to the collapse of the USSR, charting the decline of Soviet culture and speculating on what will rise from the ashes of Communism.

As in all her books, Alexievich gives voice to women and men whose stories are lost in the official narratives of nation-states, creating a powerful alternative history from the personal and private stories of individuals.

Alexievich was born in Ukraine in 1948 and grew up in Belarus. As a newspaper journalist, she spent her early career in Minsk compiling firsthand accounts of World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Chernobyl meltdown. 

Her unflinching work—“the whole of our history…is a huge common grave and a bloodbath”—earned her persecution from the Lukashenko regime and she was forced to emigrate. 

She lived in Paris, Gothenburg and Berlin before returning to Minsk in 2011. She has won a number of prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Prix Médicis, and the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award. In 2015, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Several other books by Alexievich, including “Voices from Chernobyl” and “Zinky Boys”, have previously been published in Persian.

Photo: This combination photo shows Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich and the front cover of the Persian translation of her book “Secondhand Time”.

MMS/YAW

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