Andris Zeibots (né Andris Bērziņš), born in 1950, is a Latvian playwright and author, director, writer and producer. Zeibots studied computer sciences at the State University of Latvia, graduated in economy from the University of Latvia, as well as the J. Vītols State Conservatoire, obtaining a degree in theatre directing. He worked with a number of experimental theatre groups until the early 1990s, when got involved with the Radio SWH morning programme. Together with his colleagues, Andris Zeibots founded Playwrights Theatre, which stages only contemporary drama. He is an active member of the Children and Young writer's literary competitions and a literary consultant at the literary summer camp Aicinājums [The Calling]. Most of his life Zeibots has been writing literary essays and other works, never limiting himself to a certain genre. Andris Zeibots has published a novella Līķu dejas [Dances of Corpses] (2002), a collection of poetry Ūdens ķirzaka [Water Lizard] (2010), and plays and humorous stories. His novel Okeāniskais Es [The Oceanic Me] (2013), a work of psychological fantasy, was awarded the annual Dzintars Sodums Literary Prize for innovation in literature. His most recent novel Krauklis [Raven] was published in 2020.
Krauklis [Raven]. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2020.
Plēve [The Film]. Riga: Zvaigzne ABC, 2017.
Okeaniskais Es [The Oceanic Me]. Riga: Dienas Grāmata, 2013.
Ūdens ķirzaka [Water Lizard]. Riga: Mansards, 2010.
Līķu dejas [Dances of Corpses]. Riga: Preses nams, 2002.
Tups un Jamulejs [Tups and Jamulejs]. Riga: Jumava, 1998.
Telefons [Telephone, a play in a collection Virtuss]. Riga: Liesma, 1987.
Books to fall for
The novel Krauklis by Andris Zeibots is about one of the most popular Latvian poets of the 1920s and 30s – the “most consistent Romantic”, Jānis Ziemeļnieks. The author has classified the novel Krauklis as “a fantasy with the involvement of history”, and the reader is brought directly into the atmosphere that prevailed at a particular period of Ziemeļnieks’ life. After treatment at Šēnfelds’ Nerve Clinic, the poet grapples with the issue of how he can continue living. Ziemeļnieks would very much like to keep his promise never to touch opium again, however, the harsh intermingling of vision and reality compels him to once more seek out the embrace of demonic Haijalija - a character in a 1930 play by the foremost Latvian female playwright Aspazija.
“Having lived for only 32 years, addicted to opium, he wrote popular Romantic verse that the critics did not rate very highly. ‘Your time has passed, you will be forgotten’ - these words accompany, like a refrain, the hero of the novel by Andris Zeibots. Like a constant “Nevermore!” from the demon haunted poem ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allen Poe. And Krauklis [ – in Latvian meaning ‘raven’ – ] is everpresent in the poet’s life from birth: it is his real surname. The greatest puzzle posed by his life is why he has never been forgotten. Andris Zeibots leads us through the deepest, darkest recesses of the poet’s soul, and here one may obtain inkling as to why this is so.” - Vents Zvaigzne
Contact: Dace Sparāne-Freimane, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Film (Plēve)
The Film is a collection of short stories written during various periods. The author himself describes them as ghost stories or horror stories. The stories are linked by an element which may be called ”the fear factor”: the inexplicable, the irrational which turns up in the lives of the protagonists and adds tension to the plot. However, these stories go beyond the narrow specifics of genre, because the author adeptly manipulates them using a variety of means of expression in order to elicit in the reader an effect of unease, simultaneously inspiring thoughts on the metaphysical. In the events portrayed in these stories, the everyday mingles with the surreal, and the poetic with the terrifying, resulting in texts that can be interpreted on several levels , posing a challenge to the reader’s erudition. In most of the tales, the terrifying element is not the “external” factor; – using stream of consciousness, the disjointedness of time and space, unreliable narrators, and other techniques, the writer masterfully conjures an atmosphere in which the reader begins to discern the “internal” fear inherent in the narrative, and the instability of reality and its unpredictability. Zeibots constructs the characters’ dialogues and internal monologues which are so typical of every person’s running internal “conversations with the self” with the professionalism of a playwright. He tangles threads of various truths and compels the reader to become completely absorbed by the story’s setting – , providing the main ingredient in a cocktail of tension, interest and fear.
Contact: Bārbala Simsone, email@example.com
Rīga, Zvaigzne ABC
All rights available
About Raven // Online magazine Satori, 2020 [LV]
About Raven // Latvijas Sabiedriskie Mediji, 2020 [LV]
Andris Zeibots, profile // The Council of the Creative Unions of Latvia [LV; EN]
Andris Zeibots, profile // Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) [EN]
The Dzintars Sodums Prize to be Awarded to Andris Zeibots and Inga Ābele // Online magazine Satori, 2014 [LV]Reviews
Ieva Kolmane, Es esmu vīzija, review of Raven // Online magazine Satori, 2020 [LV]
Ilva Skulte, Rita raiss, review of Raven // Online magazine Punctum, 2020 [LV]
Bārbala Simsone, Krāšņi drudža murgi, review of The Film // Diena.lv, 2018 [LV]
Ilze Jansone, review of The Film // Online magazine Punctum, 2018 [LV]
Lāsma Ģibiete, review of The Oceanic Me // Diena.lv, 2013 [LV]
2014, Dzintars Sodums Literary Prize for innovations in literature for The Oceanic Me
2002, Preses Nams Prize for best prose, for Dances of Corpses