European Union Prize for Literature

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18 October 2018

Osvalds Zebris at Belgrade Book Fair

EUPL 2017 winner Osvalds Zebris from Latvia will be a special guest at the 63rd Belgrade Book Fair, taking place next week.

Arete Publishing House and EUPL Serbia have organised a number of events with Osvalds Zebris during the whole fair. A discussion with the author will take place in the Vasko Popa Hall on Monday, 22 October at 11 am and signing session will take place at Arete booth on Tuesday, 23 October at 7 pm. There will be also be a presentation of the author's EUPL winning book “Gaiļu kalna ēnā” on 23 October at 4 pm at the Creative Desk Serbia. 

Osvalds Zebris is an acclaimed Latvian writer and journalist born in 1975 in Riga. He worked in public relations and communications and as an editor for various newspapers and magazines. Zebris’ first book, a collection of short stories “Brīvība tīklos” won him a Latvian Literature Award in 2010 for the best debut. With his novel “Gaiļu kalna ēnā” Zebris was nominated for the Latvian Literature Award in 2015 and won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2017. He is a member of the Latvian Writers’ Union.

Historically placing his novel Gaiļu kalna ēnā in 1905, Osvald Zebris finds the Russian Tsar in the atmosphere of impending revolution. Zebris is creating a world full of tension and people who are living on the edge of existence. The very nature of the war is that it divides people and they have to choose, maybe unwillingly, which side to fight on, in a cause that is not always clear to them. The character of Rūdolfs Reiznieks is full of contemplation of the past and the future, constantly in search of self-forgiveness and inner peace. Situations like the child kidnapping will shatter the lives of two families, as they struggle to understand who is guilty in a revolution where all sides are victims.

Zebris tells a story about the landmark historical moment for Latvian people, the moment of attaining their own country, all the while never forgetting the everyday man. This magnificent book gives historical insight into the situation in Riga, but maybe more important - the state of mind of its inhabitants, marking one of the biggest moments in their history.