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Lithuanian cult novel White Shroud published by the Scottish publisher ‘VBAGABOND PRESS” is presented by indie-folk duo

Created: 2019.04.12 / Updated: 2019.04.12 17:01
    Lithuanian cult novel White Shroud published by the Scottish publisher ‘VBAGABOND PRESS” is presented by indie-folk duo

    “Ask any well-read Lithuanian who completed high school after 2002 which work of literature they remember best from their studies and you are almost guaranteed to hear,


    ‘Antanas Škėma’s White Shroud – that’s my favourite novel!’”

    So begins the introduction to the first English translation of the Lithuanian modernist classic, which was written in New York in the 1950 and was published in English by Glasgow-based Vagabond Voices in 2018.

    As progressive Berlin-based daily TAZ wrote about White Shroud – “It's amazing how current this novel still feels. Škėma can be ironic and sarcastic, but also existentially serious and even sentimental. This novel is no simple singalong tune, but rather a highly polyphonic symphony; indeed, a polyphony that is a pleasure to experience.”  (Jochen Schimmang, taz)

    In order to acquaint you with this newly available avant-garde gem, superbly translated by Karla Gruodis, we invite you to a series of bespoke evenings of indie-folk music and readings to be held in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

    Drawing heavily on the author’s own refugee and immigrant experience, Škėma’s psychological, stream-of-consciousness work tells the story of an émigré poet working as an elevator operator in a large New York hotel during the mid-1950s. Using multiple narrative voices and streams, the novel moves through sharply contrasting settings and stages in the narrator’s life in Lithuania before and during World War II, returning always to New York and the recent immigrant’s struggle to adapt to a completely different, and indifferent, modern world.

    On the 16th of April in Edinburgh, on the17th of April in Glasgow and on the 18th of April in London, this polyphony of voices, dotted by Lithuanian folk songs will be interpreted by the talented musicians Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė and Bert Cool from the band MEROPE. They promise to put you in a sort of trance, where boundaries between the here and now and there and then start to blur, evoking the melancholic existential context of exile literature.

    Indrė Jurgelevičiūtė – Lithuanian kanklės (zither) player and singer. Her music combines the traditions of her native land and the sounds of various cultures and contemporary styles. The quiet minimalism of Lithuanian folklore and creative improvisation of Indrė’s music has opened possibilities for international projects, including the folk indie band MEROPE and THE award-winning duo 'Solo & Indrė' with Senegalese kora master Solo Cissokho. Bert Cools – guitar player and sound artist from Antwerp, Belgium, mainly active in the improvisation and electronic music scene of Europe.

    Copies of White Shroud and free limited-edition postcards designed by artist and fashion designer Elena Guchas and illustrator Rasa Narkūnaitė will also be available at the event.

    More information about the book:

    Tuesday 16th April, Golden HARE BOOKS, Edinburgh, 6:30 PM

    Address: 68 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AQ
    Doors open 6:30 PM, event until 8 PM

    Free, RSVP required

    Wednesday 17th April, Savings Bank, Glasgow

    Address: 67 Bridge St, Glasgow G5 9JB
    Doors open 7 PM, event until 9:30 PM​

    Free, registration required through Eventbrite

    Thursday 18th April, Burley Fischerbooks, London

    Address: 400 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AA

    Doors open 7 PM, event until 9:30 PM

    The event is free but space is limited.

    Please RSVP to [email protected] to attend.


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