Remembering Chernobyl, 20 Years Later

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By Neal Comment

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National Book Critics Circle president John Freeman (far left) introduced a group of authors who came to Housing Works to read from the NBCC nonfiction award-wining Voices from Chernobyl on the twentieth anniversary of the nuclear disaster. Those who read from the oral histories Svetlana Alexievich collected from hundreds of interviews included (from left to right) Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch, Julie Otsuka, Martha Cooley, and Gary Shteyngart. The translator, n+1 editor Keith Gessen (far right), also spoke about how he’s come to realize, despite all his fears, that the book really has made itself felt to American readers. (Also reading at the event: Ken Kalfus, Jim Shepard, and Lawrence Joseph.)

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