Barys Piatrovich

is a Belarusian prose writer born in 1959 in the Homel region. He graduated from the Belarusian State University and worked as a journalist on central newspapers and journals. As a protest against the “privatization” by the state in 2002 of the literary publications of the Union of Belarusian Writers, he resigned from his job with the official journal Polymia [Flame] and founded the independent literary and artistic journal Dziejaslou [Verb], which he still edits. He is a member of the independent Belarusian Union of Writers, of which has been the First Deputy since 2002, and the Belarusian PEN Centre. He has published collections of prose including Hunting, Sleep Amidst Monsters, Frescoes, The Happiness of Being, Being Alive Isn’t Frightening, and The Square. His works have been translated into more than fifteen languages. A Swedish translation of Frescoes was published in 2009.


Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl disaster, Barys Piatrovich recalls the tension of unknowing during the days that followed, his desperate attempts to contact his relatives in the zone, and the arrival of evacuees during Easter celebrations in his parents’ village. Today, barely any of the Chernobyl evacuees are still alive. Dispersed throughout Belarus, they died alone and unnoticed, statistically insignificant.

Read in Journals