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Writing from the Baltic countries

Three Baltic writers discussing literature, exile and migration

Tuesday 10 May, 7.00pm

Join Ilmar Taska (Estonia), Māra Zālīte (Latvia) and Paulina Pukytė (Lithuania) – whose stories appear in the collection Best European Fiction 2016 (published by Dalkey Archive Press) – for an evening of discussion of literature, exile and migration on the eve of European Literature Night, hosted by broadcaster and founder of the European Literature Network Rosie Goldsmith.

Speakers
  • Ilmar Taska (Estonia)
  • Māra Zālīte (Latvia)
  • Paulina Pukytė (Lithuania)
  • Hosted by Rosie Goldsmith

Waterstones Piccadilly
203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD
Free admission
Bookings: 020 7851 2400piccadilly@waterstones.com

Ilmar Taska

Selected as one of the best European short story writers, Ilmar’s achievements include other creative muses such as film, art theatre and television. His work reflects of personal experience and socio-historical change and has reached far beyond Estonia’s shores from Los Angeles to Stockholm, London, Moscow and elsewhere. His focus in both film-making and writing is to create strong visual imagery by writing in a style that is succinct, whilst creating a strong sense of tension. His masterfully written novel A Car called Victory (2016) takes place in post World War 2 Europe, divided by iron curtain where former allies have become rivals again.

Ilmar Taska

Māra Zālīte

Poet and playwright Māra Zālīte was born in 1952 in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, where her family had been deported since 1941 by the Soviet regime. When Zālīte was five years old, her family returned to Latvia. Her first novel ”Five Fingers” is an autobiographical portrayal of her family’s return from Siberia to Latvia and her subsequent life on her grandfather’s farmstead where she has to come to terms with the conflicting image of the life she sees around her compared to the distant fairyland Latvia she grew up with in Siberia. M. Zālīte is a laureate of various literary awards, most recently in 2014 for Five Fingers.

Māra Zālīte

Paulina Pukytė

Paulina Pukytė is an artist, writer, and cultural commentator. She studied art and art history at the Vilnius Academy of Art, and holds a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London. Best European Fiction 2016 features extracts from Paulina Pukyte's third fiction book "Bedalis ir labdarys" (A Loser And A Do-gooder) - a string of dialogs and monologues that tells a Kafkaesque story of the human condition determined by displacement and misunderstanding. Pukyte's texts can be read like word sculptures, where the colloquial language gets rid of its everydayness and starts recreating itself.  These dense dialogs of absurdist poetics and genre manipulations ought to make you laugh, but instead they make you think.

Paulina Pukytė

Hosted by Rosie Goldsmith

Rosie Goldsmith is a journalist specializing in arts and current affairs, in the UK and abroad. In 20 years at the BBC she travelled the world, from New Zealand to Libya, Japan to East Timor. She covered events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, presenting flagship BBC radio shows like Front Row and Crossing Continents. Rosie speaks French, German and some Italian and lived for many years in Germany, Africa and the USA. Today she combines broadcasting, writing, media training and specialist PR with chairing events in Britain and overseas. She has interviewed many of the great names in culture and current affairs, from Margaret Atwood to Anthony Gormley – and several Prime Ministers! Known in the UK also as a champion of international literature, translation and language learning, she promotes them whenever she can. She chairs the annual European Literature Night at the British Library and curates and chairs regular festivals and events celebrating international literature.

Hosted by Rosie Goldsmith