For many, the final list of the contestants (in the category “Adult Literature”) to win the best Lithuanian book of 2015 came as no surprise. Three out of five finalists were Lithuanian authors living abroad.
The novel Odilė, arba Oro uostų vienatvė (Odile or the Loneliness of Airports) is written by Valdas Papievis, who has been living between Paris and Vilnius for more than a decade. His newest book tells a story about the loneliness of an independent human being and the everyday life of a French aristocrat in Paris.
The second finalist, Buying on Time, by Canadian-Lithuanian author, Antanas Šileika, consists of thirteen interrelated short stories about Lithuanian emigrant family life in Canada told with plenty of humour and gentle irony. Although it seems that the author tells his own story, in fact, this book is not autobiographical. Šileika’s book has received considerable attention in Canada and has won several awards.
The author of the third contestant and the winner of the Best Lithuanian Book-2015, Iš dviejų renkuosi trečią: mano mažoji odisėja (Out of the Two I Prefer the Third: My Little Odyssey), Dalia Staponkutė, is a Lithuanian writer, philosopher and translator currently living in Cyprus. In her second book, Staponkutė continues to tell the story about her journey as a Lithuanian, a woman and a mother abroad, only this time, from cultural and philosophical reflections she turns toward intimacy. The book also won the prize for the most creative book of the year in Lithuania.