An exceedingly private person, Alexievich recently met with Nina L. Khrushcheva in Ukraine, where both were participating in a Holocaust memorial project. Over the course of several afternoons, Alexievich, an author who is more accustomed to listening than speaking, shared her thoughts on politics, literature, and even on the craft of conducting interviews. “You ask really small human questions,” she advises. “That’s how people open up. When you ask a big one, such as, “What do you think of Russian President Vladimir Putin?,” people issue declarations ins...
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