Writer and journalist Pauls Bankovskis (1973) was born in Līgatne, Latvia. He studied glass art at the Riga School for Applied Arts and philosophy at the University of Latvia (1992–1996). His prose was first published in 1993, and a proliﬁc author, he has now published 10 novels, several collections of short stories, books and works of non-ﬁction and film scripts. His focus tends to shift from Latvian history, its myths, and legends to the realities of the recent Soviet past and the possibilities of the future. In 2007 Pauls Bankovskis published his ﬁrst children’s book, The Tiny-Noggins’ Play House/ Mazgalvīši spēlē mājās which was awarded the International Jānis Baltvilks Prize. Bankovskis' works have been translated into German, Czech, Finnish and English. His latest novel 18, published within a series of historical novels We. Latvia. The 20th Century, and discusses 1918, the year the Republic of Latvia was declared.
18. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2014.
Drēbes jeb Ādama tērps [Clothes, or Adam's Attire]. Riga: Jānis Roze, 2006.
Ofšors [Offshore]. Riga: Valters un Rapa, 2006.
Eiroremonts [European-style Remodeling]. Riga: Valters un Rapa, 2005.
Sekreti [Secrets]. Riga: Valters un Rapa, 2002.
Čeka, bumba & rokenrols [Cheka, Bombs and Rock 'N Roll]. Riga: Valters un Rapa, 2002.
Misters Latvija [Mister Latvia]. Rīga: Karogs, 2002.
Padomju Latvijas sieviete [The Soviet Latvian Woman]. Riga: Enigma, 2000.
Plāns ledus [Thin Ice]. Riga: Jumava, 1999.
Laiku grāmata [The Book of Chronicles]. Riga: Karogs, 1997.
Collections of stories
Trakie veči [Mad Guys]. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2016.
Es neko neatceros. Par lietu dabu [I Remember Nothing. About the Nature of Things]. Riga:
Dienas Grāmata, 2013.
Zvēru zvaigznājs [Zodiac of Animals]. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2012.
Skola [School] Riga: Valters un Rapa, 2006.
Labais vienmēr uzvar [Good Will Always Prevail]. Riga: Atēna, 2002.
Svētā Bokasīna koks [St Bokasine's Tree]. Riga: Preses nams, 1996.
Viens ar Kantu. Otto Rolava dzīve [Alone with Kant. The Life of Otto Rolavs]. Riga: Dienas grāmata, 2012.
Kur pazuda saimnieks?: stāsti par mūsu vēsturi. [Stories About Our History] Rīga: Liels un mazs, 2017.
Zvēri man! [Animals for Me!] Riga: Atvērt šeit!, 2010.
Mazgalvīši spēlē mājās [The Tiny-Noggins’ Play House]. Riga: Liels un mazs, 2007
In other languages
18. Glasgow: Vagabond Voices, 2017.
Čeka, bomba, rokenrol. Praha: Argo, 2008
Schule. Unterstufe — Kurzgeschichten. Stuttgart, merz & solitude, 2008
Kyttiä, paukkuja ja rokkenrollia. Like, 2005
Books to fall for
18 was shortlisted for the 2014 Annual Latvian Literature Award.
It is autumn 1918. The war is supposed to be over (the truce between Germany and the Entente was signed on 11 November), but it is not. On 18 November 1918, Riga and Courland are under the Germans. Amongst all this chaos, destruction, hopelessness and mortal danger, a small group of Latvians got together in the middle of an occupied city and founded their own national state, something which would have seemed impossible even a year earlier. “Every year, on the 18th of November, we fly the Latvian flag, solemn official events take place and people celebrate with their families and friends – perhaps less solemnly but certainly with more true feeling. It’s not surprising that nowadays the date 18 November, 1918 seems to have been a great celebration of the birth of the Latvian nation. And it hardly occurs to anyone that at that time there were hardly very many celebrants. (..) The diary form became a natural medium in the novel: one writer is an eyewitness of the events of 1917–1918, whereas the other is our contemporary. One of them can only guess not just at what the next day will bring but even at the events taking place around him, whereas the other encounters not knowing as he tries to understand the past and its relation to today’s reality.” (From the afterword by the author).
Contacts: Mrs. Dace Sparāne-Freimane, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rīga, Dienas grāmata
Sold to United Kingdom
Reds, Rats and Rock’n’Roll
Reds, Rats and Rock’n’Roll (Čeka, bumba un rokenrols)
Reds, Rats and Rock’n’Roll examines in retrospect the era of socialism in Latvia. The action takes place between the years 1978-89, the most severely tarnished phase of Soviet splendor. Various colorful characters live their lives in the pages of this book: the thoroughly drunk poet Harry Mikelson, who, for the consolidation of his career, becomes a spokesperson for the Cheka; the old Cheka official who commits suicide for unknown reasons; the swimmer and potential champion Eva Kallas and her romance with the somber Israeli spy Joren, who doesn’t quite know whom he works for and what he gains from his spying; the ruffian Zmejs and his comrades; Jozef, who has decided to join the army; as well as an endless number of other individuals. Each character has a separate storyline, and at first glance it seems they do not have and could not have anything in common.
Reds, Rats and Rock’n’Roll
Čeka, bumba un rokenrols
Rīga, Valters un Rapa
Foreign rights sold in the United Kingdom, Finland and Czech Republic
Interview with Pauls Bankovskis // Diena.lv, 2014 [LV]Reviews
Santa Remere, Vēstures krikumi un pārpalikumi, review of Stories About Our History // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2017 [LV]
Andrejs Vīksna, Kā garšo Bankovska roka?, review of Mad Guys // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2016 [LV]
Ilze Jansone, Brīvība cauri laikiem, review of 18 // Internet magazine Punctum, 2014 [LV]
Justīne Janpaules, Ārpus dzīves, review of I Remember Nothing. About the Nature of Things // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2014 [LV]
Toms Treibergs, Nenosakāmo sajūtu noteikšana, review of I Remember Nothing. About the Nature of Things // Internet magazine Satori.lv, 2014 [LV]
Helmuts Caune, Kļūda metērijā, review of I Remember Nothing. About the Nature of Things // Diena.lv, 2014 [LV]
Ieva Kolmane, Zvēru spēles, review of Zodiac of Animals // Diena.lv, 2012 [LV]
Inga Ābele, Mazgalvīši spēlē mājās, review of The Tiny-Noggins’ Play House // Diena.lv, 2008 [LV]
2008, International Jānis Baltvilks Prize for The Tiny-Noggins' Play House
Vagabond Voices, UK
The author, the publisher
The backdrop to this novel is a pivotal moment in Latvian history. The story presents a wonderful exploration of what it means to be human.