Andra Manfelde (born in1973, Kuldīga) is a Latvian writer and poet. In 1993, she moved to Krimulda and joined a Christian creative rehabilitation comune, in 2002, she graduated from the Riga School of Design and Art as a sculptor. In 2002, Manfelde had her first publications in several papers, including a selection of poems in the "Luna" literary magazine for which she received the Annual Literature Award. In 2005 her debut collection of poems Tranšejas dievi rok/ Gods Dig the Trenches, was published and received the Ojārs Vācietis Prize. 2005 also saw the publishing of her first novel Adata/Needle, an autobiographical work about a young woman's struggles with drug addiction. The novel was very popular, and in 2007 Manfelde adapted it for a musical with the same title by the renowned Latvian composer Zigmārs Liepiņš. Her second collection of poems Betona svētnīcas/Concrete Sanctuaries was also well received and nominated for the Poetry Days Award. In 2017, her novel Virsnieku sievas/The Officers' Wives was published in the "We. Latvia. The 20th Century" historical series and received several awards and nominations. Currently, Manfelde recently had finished the work on a book for children Kurš no mums lidos?/Which One of us is Going to Fly?.
Mājās pārnāca basa [Home came barefoot]. Riga: Latvijas Mediji, 2018.
Kurš no mums lidos? [Which One of us is Going to Fly?]. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2017.
Virsnieku sievas [Wives of Officers]. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2017.
Transcendentālā oratorija [Transcendental Oratorium]. Composer Zigmars Liepiņš, Latvian National Opera, 2014.
Ziemeļu tirgus [The Northern Fair]. Riga: Literatūras kombains, 2013.
Dzimtenīte [Sweet Motherland]. Riga: Literatūras kombains, 2012.
Ceļojums uz mēnesi: Visbija — Ventspils — Visbija [A Trip to the Moon]. Riga: Literatūras kombains, 2011.
Zemnīcas bērni [The Children of the Bunkers]. Rīga: self-published, 2010.
Sirds pasaka [The Heart's Tale]. Riga: self-published, 2009.
Betona svētnīcas [Concrete Sanctuaries]. Riga: Neputns, 2008.
Tranšejas dievi rok [Gods Dig the Trenches]. Riga: AGB, 2005.
Adata [The Needle]. Rīga: AGB, 2005.
Books to fall for
Officers’ Wives (Virsnieku sievas)
The minor military port Karosta is a closed army settlement situated in the northern part of Liepāja, a port town in Latvia. During the 1970s, some of its inhabitants would do Cossack dancing in the local Sailors’ Club, a venue created from the local church building, while others tried to save their uniforms from the damage of excrement in the military jail. Reminiscent of the famous Russian nesting doll, Karosta was a model in miniature of the larger empire; closed off as it was from the rest of the world by the Iron Curtain, an off-limits area that only a selected, pass-holding few could access. Here, the officers drank cognac and their wives wore French perfume. But beyond the fence, in Latvian Liepāja, life was completely different. Andra Manfelde’s novel takes an insider’s look into those territories closed off to civilians, where military classification meant physical danger for outsiders, as a retrospective parallel look at the stagnating USSR and the secrets of adultery.
Rīga, Dienas grāmata
All rights available
Video interview with Andra Manfelde about Karaosta and Concrete Sanctuaries // Vimeo, 2014 [EN, LV]
Interview with Andra Manfelde // Diena.lv, 2013 [LV]
About Concrete Sanctuaries // Neputns publishing website, 2008 [EN, LV]
Zanda Gūtmane, Mēs nākam no vecāku neizdzīvotās bērnības, review of Home came barefoot // Internet magazine Punctum, 2018 [LV]
Arnis Koroševskis, Tā dzīvo cilvēks, review of Home came barefoot // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2018 [LV]
Bārbala Simsone, Maizes un ābola evanģēlijs, review of Home came barefoot // Diena.lv, 2018 [LV]
Ērika Bērziņa, Tā nav grāmata, bet piedzīvojums!, review of Which One of us is Going to Fly? // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2018 [LV]
Bārbala Simsone, Sievietes uz tilta, review of Wives of Officers // Diena.lv, 2017 [LV]
Sarmīte Kolāte, Okupantu sievas un mīļākās, review of Wives of Officers // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2017 [LV]
Baiba Kušķe, review of The Northern Fair // LSM.LV, 2013 [LV]
Katrīna Rudzīte, Kā izdzīvot dzimtenītē?, review of Sweet Motherland // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2013 [LV]
2019, nominated for the Annual Latvian Literature Award for Home came barefoot
2018, the Annual Latvian Literature Award for Which One of us is Going to Fly?
2017, The Egons Līvs Award for Wives of Officers
2012, The Egons Līvs Award for A Trip to the Moon
2012, Indriķis Zeberiņš Prize for The Heart's Tale
2010, The International Jānis Baltvilks Prize for The Heart's Tale
2010, Silver-Ink pot Award from the International Writers' and Translators' House and City Council of Ventspils for The Children of the Bunkers
2008, Anna Dagda Prize for Concrete Temples
2005, Ojārs Vācietis Prize for debut collection Gods dig trenches
2002, the Annual Latvian Literature Award for the publication in "Luna" magazine