On October 8, Icchokas Meras, a Lithuanian Jewish writer, would have turned 80 years old. To commemorate the anniversary, the Lituanica Department of the National Library of Lithuania created a virtual exhibition “Kelmė is my Lithuania and my Jerusalem” (http://senas.lnb.lt/parodos/11/), inviting visitors to become acquainted with the writer’s life and works, and to leaf through the library archives where one can find interesting information about the writer.
Meras was a great friend of National Library of Lithuania. Thanks to the writer, the Lituanica Department was able to replenish its funds with his newest books. The exhibition also talks about Meras’ friendship with the Library.
Although Meras’ interest in literature started in high school, after graduation he chose to study engineering. He made his literary debut in 1960 with the book “Geltonas lapas” [The Yellow Patch]. Meras’ novel about the Holocaust, “Lygiosios trunka akimirką” [Stalemate] (1963), is his best-known work internationally.
In 1972, Meras immigrated to Israel, where he worked as a teacher and taught at the university. In Israel, with the help of Lithuanian emigrants, the writer received true recognition. For his novel “Striptizas, arba Paryžius-Roma-Paryžius” [Striptease or ParisRome-Paris] written in 1976, Meras was awarded the Lithuanian Writers Association Literary Prize (US).
The author’s works have been translated into more than 20 languages. Prestigious literary magazines named Meras one of the most prominent Eastern European writers. In 1995, he was awarded the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas Commander’s Cross. The writer is also a recipient of the honourable Lithuanian National Prize.
Deimantė Bandzevičiūtė, National Library of Lithuania, Lituanica Department