meaning 'bodies', is our first 'mini series' of five chapbooks showcasing in this case writing never-before-seen in English from a diverse selection of the finest contemporary writers and translators working in Lithuanian today.
True to the series title, these stories display a wide panorama of 'bodies'; political, social, physical; they deal with corporeality, like collages made of details, symbols and impressions. Above all, though, they're great short reads; like little shots of espresso for the mind - each their own experience, in series, but all building together into one beautifully designed set that's sure to give you that Strangers Press literary buzz...
Death & Other Stories by Vidas Morkūnas; tr. Kotryna Garanašvili
"...it suddenly rushed out onto the road, as if chased, and leapt straight into my arms. That is how I ended up taking it home."
An enthralling selection of shorter stories in which, among many other things besides, we encounter death as a supernatural beast-presence trapped inside a box only to escape and cause mayhem in a local village; a darkly comic fable concerning a father and his son set in a world where children take on the forms of different animals as part of their 'formal education'; and a series of micro fiction 'stations', or vignettes, recounting different scenes, characters or dreams on an implied narrative journey.
Bodies by Akvilė Kavaliauskaitė; tr. Erika Lastovskytė
"He asks what she thinks. She says it's hard to imagine the same thing he imagines. No matter how close you are, it is impossible to get into someone else's head."
Another wonderfully varied selection of shorter stories this time featuring the tribulations of a successful filmmaker, a young couple who visit a nudist beach while on holiday and gain a new perspective, a woman who has lost her husband and an insurance salesman who finds himself obsessed with the voice of a client on the phone. All again highly recommended!
Juvenilia by Virginija Kulvinskaitė; tr Julija Gulbinovič
“That spring, as if by agreement, we got it into our heads that something should finally happen, something should change.”
A selection taken from the memoirs of a youth spent growing up in a small town - its fascinations with fads, fashions, slang and bands; its successful/disastrous explorations of personal style and taste; what's cool, what's not cool; all pitched at the question and at times painful process of working out who we are in the world.
Taxi Driver by Jurga Tumasonytė; tr Sasha Wilde
“Rasma hated her dreams; they made her sick — she rested best when she fell into complete silence and darkness."
Rasma is a taxi driver with a mysterious past, a mysterious present, an uncertain future, and a complex relationship with a 'double'. We follow her through a series of encounters personal and professional - some troubling, some comic, some profound - as she struggles with her sense of identity and belonging while trying to make ends meet.
The Sleep Of Birds by Tomas Vaiseta; tr Jeremy Hill
“So it was that a happy historical coincidence came to be: sex came into my life after the fall of the Soviet Empire…"
Two charged and psychologically intruiging short stories that experiment entertainingly within a contemporary gothic mode. In one, a doctor relates his dark fascination with a patient as things fall apart; in the other a sexual awakening has tragic and transgressive consequences; both, in lucid prose, speak emblematically of shifts or breakdowns of social orders more broadly.
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