Author: Pauls Bankovskis
Page Count/Review Word Count: 180
This book was translated from the Latvian by Ieva Lesinska and I picked it up after my recent trip to Riga to learn more about the Latvian literature scene. Bankovskis’ novel is part of a series of different books by different authors covering the country’s history, and it focuses largely on the events of 1918 when its independence was first declared.
It’s one of those books where it’s more about the ideas that it contains than about the plot or even the characters, and as such it’s occasionally difficult to stay focused on it. It also felt quite experimental as well as deeply philosophical, and I think I would have got more from it if I’d known more about the Latvian struggle for independence. Even so, there were bits that I could tie back to what I already knew, making this a sort of cross between literary fiction, historical fiction and the avant garde. It’s a weird book, but it’s worth reading if you ask me.