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.
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.
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.
I presented the Lithuanian translation of my 1997 story collection, Buying on Time, at the Vilnius Book Fair between February 21 and 23. The Lithuanian title is Pirkiniai išsimokėtinai. The collection has already been translated into Chinese and it will be translated into Italian (online) this year as well.
The Lithuanian translation of Underground, called Pogrindis, appeared in Lithuania in 2013. 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, and a third 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.
Update: May 31, 2016:
The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture awarded twenty-eight thousand Euros for development, so a few years later, this project is still alive.