Summer 2016

ECW Logo

My memoir, The Barefoot Bingo Caller, has been more or less put to bed for ECW Press. It will appear in May of 2017. The Lithuanian translation, from Versus Aureus, will appear in the spring of 2017 as well.

I have rewritten my novel, Provisionally Yours, with the help of a good editor and will see his response to it at the end of the summer. This is the espionage novel inspired by the life of Jonas Budrys, the chief of Lithuanian counterintelligence from 1921-1923. His own memoir, Lietuvos Kontrazvalgyba, is an excellent and fast-paced book for those who have the  language.

This gives me time to work on my The Rhyming Assassin, my book about Kostas Kubilinskas, the Dr. Seuss of Lithuania, who murdered a man in order to be permitted to publish children’s books.

I’ll be in Lithuania in August to do research for this book, as well as to speak on my writing at the opening of my wife, Snaige’s, big art show at the Moncys Gallery in Palanga, Lithuania, on August 6.

The summer is a great break from working on the Canadian Writers’ Summit this past June, and preparing for the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Humber School for Writers on October 26 inside the International Festival of Authors at Harbourfront. I’ll have time to get some more words down on the page.

The Resurrection of Buying on Time

 

CR Photo

I was pleased ands surprised to see Buying on Time, a collection of short stories I had published in 1997, make the long list for the Canada Reads competition sponsored by CBC radio.

 

I recently came back from Lithuania, where the translation of the book has been short-listed for the Book of the Year competition. That is a people’s choice competition in the final round, so whichever book gets the most votes will win. Anyone who would care to vote for my book is welcome to press the button “įrašyti”, which means “enter” at this link.

 

In the meantime, I am working on editorial notes for my memoir, which will come out in 2017.

 

 

 

 

Fall, 2015

Grandson on Back

 

I’ve recently signed a contract for a book of stories to appear with ECW Press in the fall of 2016 or the spring of 2017.

I spent the summer in Lithuania, working in KGB archives in the morning and helping to babysit my grandson some evenings. I also gave two talks at the Santara conference in Alanta, Lithuania. Here is an English translation of one of the talks I gave at the Santara conference on the subject of recent books in English with a Baltic theme.

I’ll be at the Assembly Hall in Toronto with Plum Johnson in October and Lawrence Hill in December.

In the last week in October, I’ll be running the Humber School for Writers workshop inside the International Festival of Authors in Toronto.

After that, for two weeks in November, I will be in Kaunas and Vilnius, Lithuania, giving a total of seven university lectures on the translations of my books into Lithuanian.

I recently published an Essay called “Fault Lines”  in The Literary Review of Canada. In that essay, I address the controversial proposed Monument to the Victims of Communism in Ottawa.

And among all these activities, I am picking apples and cooking them, building a shed and enjoying the fact that my wife, Snaige, sold out her last art show.

 

 

Desk Versus Nature

After a long and difficult winter, spring has finally burst out in Toronto while I am overwhelmed with writing projects that keep me at my desk.

 

See the photo below for where I would rather be.

Blossoms 1

I am rewriting the novel inspired by the memoir of Jonas Budrys, working on a collection of stories, and starting yet another novel inspired by the Rhyming Assassin of Lithuania, Kostas Kubilinskas.

 

The LRC has asked me to work up an essay on Eastern Europe, and I am preparing talk for a conference in Lithuania, Santara Šviesa, which I try to attend every couple of years.

 

One book needs to be blurbed and another finished for my talk, and in the meantime, I wish I could settle down and read Out of Ashes, a new history of Europe, one that has received excellent reviews.

 

Not really complaining, though. Just saying.