Between the public and the private: Svetlana Aleksievich interviews Ales' Adamovich. Translator’s preface

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

World Languages

Publication Date



This is a transcript and translation of an interview recorded in 1986 by Svetlana Aleksievich with her literary mentor, Ales' Adamovich. The writers discuss Mikhail Gorbachev’s then-new perestroika policy, its potential for meaningful political change, and how both of them relate to the “new people” and “new times” perestroika brought with it. The interview is focused on Adamovich, who ruminates on important political events, including the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. The interview is a testament that documents the continuous dialogue in which the two Belarusian Soviet writers engaged for years as friends and collaborators. The interview also provides us with insight into the continuity between the Soviet and post-Soviet roles of the artist and public intellectual.


This article was originally published in Canadian Slavonic Papers. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Canadian Slavonic Papers


© 2017 Canadian Association of Slavists