Published just before the collapse of the Soviet Union, this novel became a bestseller and a herald of freedom. International critics recently proclaimed it Dostoevsky, Orwell, Kafka and Kundera in one. No; it is Gavelis – a vivisection of homo sovieticus that eclipses all other attempts. In Rashomon style, Vilnius Poker depicts the all-pervading, absurd but powerful, and dehumanising Soviet system. Memories are faked, love is doomed, conscience silent and words deceitful. Its depiction of the sheer banality of evil will send shivers down your spine. And yet at the same time it is a violent manifestation of liberty.
By Kristina Sabaliauskaitė
London-based Kristina Sabaliauskaitė is the most widely read Lithuanian author (sales of her books run to hundreds of thousands of copies). Her award-winning four-part historical novel Silva Rerum is a bestseller beyond Lithuania’s borders, where it has attracted the admiration of readers, exceptional reviews and was shortlisted for the final of the ANGELUS Central European Literary Prize in 2016.