I was pleased ands surprised to see Buying on Time, a collection of short stories I had published in 1997, make the long list for the Canada Reads competition sponsored by CBC radio.
I recently came back from Lithuania, where the translation of the book has been short-listed for the Book of the Year competition. That is a people’s choice competition in the final round, so whichever book gets the most votes will win. Anyone who would care to vote for my book is welcome to press the button “įrašyti”, which means “enter” at this link.
In the meantime, I am working on editorial notes for my memoir, which will come out in 2017.
I’ve recently signed a contract for a book of stories to appear with ECW Press in the fall of 2016 or the spring of 2017.
I spent the summer in Lithuania, working in KGB archives in the morning and helping to babysit my grandson some evenings. I also gave two talks at the Santara conference in Alanta, Lithuania. Here is an English translation of one of the talks I gave at the Santara conference on the subject of recent books in English with a Baltic theme.
I presented the Lithuanian translation of my 1997 story collection, Buying on Time, at the Vilnius Book Fair between February 21 and 23. The Lithuanian title is Pirkiniai išsimokėtinai. The collection has already been translated into Chinese and it will be translated into Italian (online) this year as well.
The Lithuanian translation of Underground, called Pogrindis, appeared in Lithuania in 2013. Here’s a link to an article about the novel’s background (in Lithuanian) as well as an interview with Tomas Donela, who has optioned the film rights. As for the novel itself, it’s available from the publisher at the link here.
For details of the book fair, see my blog post. Also her are a few more links to Lithuanian reviews and profiles: 1, 2, and a third one here. (If the last link doesn’t work, as mine is having trouble, you can find the review at Literatura ir Menas).
Here’s a Lithuanian television interview I did for an operation called “Alchemija.”
I was working through galleys of one of my books last weekend, and while this is not so unusual an activity for a writer, what is unusual is that the galleys were for a book that came out in 1997.
Porcupine’s Quill is doing another printing of that collection of stories, which has never ben out of print, I might add. But the films were so old the proces had to be done again. There is also an ebook of Buying on Time now available at the Porcupine’s Quill site.
I hadn’t read this material for fifteen years and it was a delight to read it again. I had even forgotten some of the jokes and laughed anew (I don’t usually laugh at my own jokes). Publisher Tim Inkster warned me to resist the urge to rewrite. That was very hard to do because I am a rewriter by nature.
But Tim did permit me a few corrections – oddball things. The book had already been through four reprints, but I still found a couple of details we had all missed. I called sandwich meat “baloney” for 150 pages, and then somewhere around page 180 I elevated it to “bologna”.
Most writers do not reread their works, and I never do once they are in print, so this was instructive. The lesson is that a work of fiction is never finished to the writer – one could keep on writing forever, but editors and publishers wisely forbid us to do that.