2015 Longlist

Voices from Chernobyl


Translated from the Norwegian by Marietta Taralrud Maddrell

2015 Longlist

Chernobyl, 26 April 1986. Things were ruined overnight in that quiet town of Ukraine. An experiment to produce electricity from the residual energy in the steam generator of Reactor Four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station went horribly wrong, bringing on an explosion that blew away the reactor’s roof and set afire the graphite in its core. The blaze lasted several days, casting huge quantities of radioactivity a thousand metres up into the atmosphere. And it was a long time before the local people were evacuated.

This is the story of what came after. What happened to the people of Chernobyl? How did innocuous atoms – which make all things, even us – connive to unleash destruction so vicious that there was little left to be salvaged? Did the world learn any lessons from the tragedy? Told in the voices of many victims, this elegiac novel recounts how their bodies, lives and loves, realities and memories were distorted forever, and how the very air around them was irrevocably changed.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Ingrid Storholmen originally comes from Verdal in Norway, an area affected by the radioactive rain from Chernobyl. In 2002 she spent two months in the forbidden zone and the condemned areas of Ukraine and Belarus. This is her first novel, following three critically acclaimed collections of poetry.

About the Translator

Marietta Taralrud Maddrell was born in England to a Norwegian father and Swedish mother. She took up the translation of Voices from Chernobyl in support of the anti-nuclear movement in India and for the exceptional nature of the narrative.

Librarian’s Comments

Stories and voices from one of the worst accidents in modern history written in fantastic poetic language.





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