The Book of Riga
A City in Short Fiction
Book type: Anthology
Published: 08 Apr 2018
A suicide attempt, staged to attract as much attention as possible, from the top of St. Peter’s Church, quickly evolves into an outlandish and absurd, televised spectacle...
When a PA is invited into her boss’s office one day to observe a protest unfold, just as he predicts, in the streets below, she begins to suspect his powers of foresight might extend beyond mere business matters...
Finally moving into the house of her dreams, on the island of Kīpsala, a single mother discovers a strange affinity with the previous occupant...
Riga may be over 800 years old as a city, but its status as capital of an independent Latvia is only a century old, with half of that time spent under Soviet rule. Despite this, it has established itself as a vibrant, creative hub, attracting artists, performers, and writers from across the Baltic region. The stories gathered here chronicle this growth and on-going transformation, and offer glimpses into the dark humour, rich history, contrasting perspectives, and love of the mythic, that sets the city’s artistic community apart.
As its history might suggest, Riga is a work in progress; and for many of the characters in these stories, it is the possibilities of what the city might become, more than merely what it is now, that drives the imagination of its people.
This book is published with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and The Latvian Writers Union.
Foreword by former President of Latvia (1999-2007) Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga.
Translated from the Latvian by Kaija Straumanis, Suzanne McQuade, Uldis Balodis, Ieva Lešinska, Mārta Ziemelis and Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini.
As featured in Eric Karl Anderson's (Lonesome Reader) Latvian Literature video - watch it here.
As recommended by the Permanent Representation of Latvia to the EU to the Readers of Europe 2021.
'Contemporary Latvian writing at its best.' - Baltic Review
'The authors write with a distinctive, Baltic voice... The city shines through as a beguiling survivor of its history, adapting whilst retaining its hold on certain citizens and visitors. I had never before considered visiting Riga. After reading this collection, I am tempted.' - Never Imitate
'Riga, it seems, is at a crossroads, and its writers are imagining several futures.' - West Camel, The Baltic Riveter (London Book Fair 2018)