I reread sections of Svetlana Alexievich's book on Chernobyl this past week, and again felt its power. This collection of interviews, of testimonies from victims, feels artless but must have been written and edited with extreme tact to be so devoid of estheticism. You feel, reading it, that you are in visceral contact with the people testifying: Alexievich's authorial transparency is enviable. She presents without editorializing. The cumulative effect is overwhelming.