The Lithuanian translation of Underground, called Pogrindis, has appeared in Vilnius. Here’s a link to an article about the novel’s background (in Lithuanian) as well as an interview with Tomas Donela, who has optioned the film rights. As for the novel itself, it’s available from the publisher at the link here.
For details of the book fair, see my blog post. Also her are a few more links to Lithuanian reviews and profiles: 1, 2, 3, and a fourth one here. (If the last link doesn’t work, as mine is having trouble, you can find the review at Literatura ir Menas).
Here’s a Lithuanian television interview I did for an operation called “Alchemija.”
I am so pleased to have sold the option to Underground
to Tomas Donela of Donelos Studija.
I saw his film, Atsisveikinimas, in the European festival that played in Toronto last fall, and was particularly impressed by the cinematography.
It would be great to see this project come together.
I was working through galleys of one of my books last weekend, and while this is not so unusual an activity for a writer, what is unusual is that the galleys were for a book that came out in 1997.
Porcupine’s Quill is doing another printing of that collection of stories, which has never ben out of print, I might add. But the films were so old the proces had to be done again. There is also an ebook of Buying on Time now available at the Porcupine’s Quill site.
I hadn’t read this material for fifteen years and it was a delight to read it again. I had even forgotten some of the jokes and laughed anew (I don’t usually laugh at my own jokes). Publisher Tim Inkster warned me to resist the urge to rewrite. That was very hard to do because I am a rewriter by nature.
But Tim did permit me a few corrections – oddball things. The book had already been through four reprints, but I still found a couple of details we had all missed. I called sandwich meat “baloney” for 150 pages, and then somewhere around page 180 I elevated it to “bologna”.
Most writers do not reread their works, and I never do once they are in print, so this was instructive. The lesson is that a work of fiction is never finished to the writer – one could keep on writing forever, but editors and publishers wisely forbid us to do that.
Richard Handler of the CBC wrote this nice column about the novel and my CBC interview.
It was so great to find Underground listed in the Globe and Mail as one of the 100 best books of 2011.
And only three more appearances this week and then I can settle down to more serious work on the next novel.
Here’ a link to the The Next Chapter, an interview I did with Shelagh Rogers on the subject of my novel, Underground.
It aired on November 14, 2011. As time goes by, the show will fall into the archive and you’ll need to scroll back to find it.
I was delighted to see this article appearing int he Telegraph-Journal shortly before my arrival in New Brunswick.
You ccan see the review in the LRC itself or buy an online copy of the journal, but here are a couple of highlights:
… In an uncompromising novel, post-war Lithuania receives its due.
As for Antanas Sileika,…, he has written a tough, uncompromising book and brought those forgotten stories back to life.
The Mapletree literary supplement is running a long interview with me about my writing and life.
A a very thorough one at that
And then a reprint of an earlier one in the Ottawa Citizen.
Donna Bailey Nurse reviews Underground insightfully at the Toronto Globe and Mail.
The Montreal Gazette reprinted the very good review that ran last week in the Vancouver Sun.
Steven Beattie and I had a long conversation about the novel, historical fiction, and my literary obsessions at his blog.
That Shakespearean Rag
Notes from a Literary Lad
This review gives a broad, historical overview and ends with some positive remarks.
The last of my essays in The National Post on the subject of historical fiction and the place of my novel, Underground, within that context.
Here is my latest essay, on historical fiction this time, at the National Post.
My second online essay at the National Post addresses Eastern Europe as John Le Carre Territory.
The first of my series of brief essays on the background of my latest novel and on writing historical literature in general appears online at the National Post today.
Philip Marchand reviewed Underground in the National Post Today.
The hard copy of the newspaper has a large sketch of me labelled “Irresistible”. It’s a page I wish I could send to some of the girls I admired in high school.
To critique the critique, the review does insist that I am not writing humour – it insists a bit too much because I am indeed not writing humour in this novel – it’s about a fight to the death without a lot of laughs, but perhaps some tender moments.
But there is dark humour in the tone, a bit of “what fools these mortals be”.
Where is the writer who will agree wholeheartedly with a critic’s assessment? He also called the novel compelling and layered, and that’s pretty good.
Underground is a historical literary thriller with elements of espionage and romance.
It’s set a very short time ago, just after the second word war, but in a part of Europe whose stories are untold and whose geography is obscure to most of us on this side of the Atlantic.
What are lovers in this place and time to do when history crashes into their personal desires and private lives?
I’ll be on a blog tour for the next couple of months, being reviewed and interviewed, so look for me and for talk about the book at the links down below. Some of the dates will follow later.
And on a final personal note, I wrote this novel trying to make it something a reader could easily fall into and live happily with for a few days, so I hope that turns out to be the case for you.
To start you off, se Eva Stachniak’s detailed interview at the first link below. I have the first three linked – the others to follow.
Eva Stachniak – currently available
The Afterword - The National Post, March 28 to April 1
That Shakespearean Rag – currently available
Open Book Toronto – currently available
Rob McLennan – forthcoming
Consider the image below the passport for my blog tour, which has already begun. For details see above.
See my post about the Associated Writing Programs Conference in Washington.
(This is an association of writing programs whose conference pulls in thousands of writing teachers and students – the last one in Washington in February of 2011 pulled in about six thousand. )
See my article about creative writing in this month’s Quill and Quire magazine. (Sadly, it is not available online – only in the print version, but I have put in a link to magazine web page page.)