Reviews and Appearances

Here is a link to my most  recent audio book review on Shelagh Rogers’s CBC Radio 1 show, the Next Chapter. Drunk, by Edward Slingerland, is defence of alcohol. Unusual in these abstemious times.

My latest novel, The Unbowed Heart, has been picked up by Cormorant Books for publication in 2023. I am very pleased indeed.

The Unbowed Heart is a novel based on historical events that tells the story of a rhyming assassin, underground resistance, and precarious love in the Soviet Union of the postwar era

I also have a comic novel almost ready,  loosely based on both  Henri Murger’s Tales of the Latin Quarter (also the inspiration for the opera, La Boheme as well as the musical, Rent) and Neringa Jonšaitė’s Neringos Kavinė, but that will have to go on the back burner as I do a rewrite of the novel above first.

And a bit further back:

Provisionally Yours received good reviews in 2019  in The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail (behind a paywall here)  and Publishers Weekly, the latter calling the book “an urbane thriller”.

I was in Lithuania frequently until the Covid lockdown, where the translation was getting  a lot of exposure and I found myself in the media, such as the cover of the weekly magazine below:

…and again in the local People Magazine (Žmonės):

I have been sitting on a Lithuanian advisory committee to the parliament, and here is a photo below of what that looks like. I travelled there in March of 2020 to sit on the committee again, and was stranded in Vilnius for six weeks after airlines stopped flying during COVID-19 lock-downs. But it was a pleasure to be there, even tutoring a pre-schooler in French before being flown home by a Canadian government charter scooping up strays in Eastern Europe. I have rejoined the committee but for 2021, meetings will be virtual.

Sitting in the Constitution Room in the Lithuanian parliament building, listening to a speaker on human trafficking.


And finally, in the fall of 2020, I helped launch The Occidental Hotel, a novel by my friend, the late John Bentley Mays. For more on that, see the post in my blog.

Provisionally Yours Launched in Canada


On March 19,  I officially launched my new novel, Provisionally Yours at Ben McNally’s book store in Toronto. The novel is now available in Canada and will be launched in the USA in June.

I’ll be reading from it at the GritLit festival in Hamilton, on April 13, at the Eden Mills literary festival in early September, as well as Windsor in May and other places to be announced.

Here is what the flaps have to say about the novel:

After World War I and the collapse of Czarist Russia, former counterintelligence officer Justas Adamonis returns to Lithuania, a fragment of the shattered Empire. He’s not entirely sure what he’ll find. His parents are dead, he hasn’t seen his sister since she was a teenager, and Kaunas has become the political center of the emerging state. He’s barely off the train when he’s recruited back into service, this time for the nascent government eager to secure his loyalty and experience. Though the administration may be new, its problems are familiar, and Adamonis quickly finds himself ensnared in a dangerous web of political corruption and personal betrayal. In its vivid rendering, Antanas Sileika’s Provisionally Yours  is an exploration of nationalism and realpolitik—as well as an unforgettable story about treachery and the enduring human capacity for love.

“A perfect calibration of pace and depth, a lucid, stylish and bittersweet chronicle of a country’s rebirth, and a thriller that is also a meditation. I loved this novel.”—Samantha Harvey, Man Booker-nominated author of The Wilderness and The Western Wind

“Sileika is a master at portraying moral ambiguity. Set in an overlooked corner of Eastern Europe, Provisionally Yours has the gritty realism of a noir and the pacing of an espionage thriller.”—Nino Ricci, author of theLives of the Saints trilogy

“Offers the delightful unearthing of a little-known corner of the world—post-war Lithuania. Espionage, illicit love, bureaucratic bungling, marvelous descriptions of food and drink, strong women, desperate men. And subtle humour. And ultimately sadness, brought on by amorality in the struggle for power. A fine read.”—David Bergen, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Time in Between




The Barefoot Bingo Caller Wins Book of the Year in Translation in Lithuania

I was at the Vilnius book fair again this year to launch my new novel, called Provisionally Yours in English and translated as Laikinai jūsų by the publisher, Baltos Lankos. It was a wonderful time as usual there. See the cover below:


But my memoir, The Barefoot Bingo Caller in English, and Basakojis bingo pranešėjas in Lithuanian, also published by Baltos Lankos, had been short-listed for book of the year there in the adult category. And it won! Here is  a photo, of my receiving that award.


And finally, I launch my new novel in English in Toronto on March 19. Here is some news about that:


Short-Listed Again for Book of the Year in Lithuania.

The Lithuanian translation of my memoir, The Barefoot Bingo Caller, has been short-listed for book of the year in Lithuania.

The Lithuanian Translation of The Barefoot Bingo Caller, 2018

This is a readers’ choice award, so those who like the book can vote for it at this page.  Simply click on the circle and make sure you choose the term, “įrašyti”, which means “enter”. The winner will be announced at the Vilnius Book Fair in February of 2019.