Two more books published in the historical novel series


2017, January 28

Two more books published in the historical novel series

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"Dienas grāmata" has recently published two more novels as part of the historical novel series "We. Latvia. The 20th Century" – Laima Kota's "Istaba" ("The Room") and Inga Ābele's "Duna" ("The Rumble"). So far, 9 out of 13 books have been published in the novel series about historical events in the 20th century Latvia.

Inga Ābele's novel “Duna” (“The Rumble”) tells a story about the year 1949 in Rīga, Sēlija and Latgale. It is a story about physical and mental effects of war on human consciousness, and about the birth of a new political system. “Rīga race track, thoroughbred racing horses, Soviet bureaucracy in the horse-breeding industry, the watchful eye of Cheka, people coming to terms with the might of the new system, and people who naively believe in common sense and humanity”, researcher at the National Theatre, Ieva Struka, shares her insights about the book. The novel also attempts to answer the question whether a man can influence his fate, or life is just the result of a sequence of random events: “History as fatality, human life as a secret unravelled rather by the rumble of the River Daugava, the rumble of hooves at the crossroads of historical circumstances, than the choices of concrete people and epiphanies of characters. The sharp eyesight of the beholder sees the marvellously beautiful world in which each day must be learnt in its primary nature at the same time reaching for the reins covered by the straws of causation,” explains writer Gundega Repše, the author of the idea behind the historical novel series.

Laima Kota's novel “The Room” allows the reader to take a look into the life of Latvian people three decades ago when the Soviet power, hampered by increasing economic struggles, suddenly turned its course recognising the human passion for a more prosperous life, and announced Perestroika. The author extracts this era out of people's memories using all of her favourite genres – burlesque and absurd thriller, farce and heightened realism. She believes that after everything Latvians have been through while building the Soviet regime, they are prepared to face the difficulties of the 21st century. Writer Gundega Repše elaborates: “In the cosmos of everyday communal lives during Perestroika, the characters and lives of people swirl away in a naughty and thus frightening orgy of existential modesty. Has anybody here even had “a room of one's own” (greetings to Virginia Woolf, of course)? Maybe people constructed such sovereign rooms in their dreams at least. The forced Friendship of Nations upon along with the eddies of the kaleidoscopic collectivity create the farcical framework for each individual’s unique life.”