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Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in literature Thursday for works that the judges called "a monument to suffering and courage".Alexievich, 67, used the skills of a journalist to create literature chronicling the great tragedies of the Soviet Union and its 1991 collapse – World War II, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the suicides that ensued from those mourning the death of Communism.Like many intellectuals in Belarus, Alexievich supports the political opponents of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is up for re-election Sunday.Alexievich said she has not yet received congratulations from the president, whom she has pithily criticized for years. Born May 31, 1948, in the western Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankvisk to two village schoolteachers, Alexievich studied journalism in Soviet Belarus.
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