Stephanie Newman

  • syllabi February 13, 2020

    The Nobel Women of Eastern Europe

    Of the fifteen women who have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, six are from Eastern or Central Europe. Born between 1891 and 1962, in the stretch of land from East Germany to Belarus, these Nobel women differ wildly in the way they write—especially about power and hopelessness, two subjects they all share. There’s Elfriede Jelinek, whose 1983 novel The Piano Teacher uses BDSM as a way of talking about abuse and deviance. Then there’s Svetlana Alexievich, whose renderings of Chernobyl testimony are as spare and haunting as the exclusion zone itself. And, of course, there’s Olga Tokarczuk,