fiction – a new voice that disrupted Lithuanian literature!
On the morning of his 29th birthday, Lithuanian Stasys Šaltoka wakes up next to a woman he doesn’t know, in his own bed, in New York, realising that his days look good only through Instagram filters. Ferocious anxiety lurks under the photogenic everyday surface, and the question WHY? keeps poking him in the back – what the fuck should he do with his life? Stasys decides to change lanes and moves to Southeast Asia. New friends, an occasional wan tan mee, phad thai or mashed potatoes, all drowning in whiskey and sarcasm, leads him to making documentaries about the third world. Yet there is still just silence inside him.
Cold East is the second novel by Gabija Grušaitė, telling the story of today through an inner transformation lens of thirty-year-olds, through the search of profound happiness or meaning while dancing around the surfaces of life, and through human ties.
Cold East is exceptional. Beautifully written and easy to read, it's a book about you and me – post-Soviet hipsters. It’s an intense exploration of values and the meaning of life in a modern Instagram society. I absolutely could not put it down.
– Rūta Pulkauninkaitė-Macikė, CEO of hotel PACAI
Gabija Grušaitė's novel exploded like a bomb on the Lithuanian literary scene, dragging us willy-nilly into the 21st century.
– Violeta Kelertas, literary crictic
New Literature from Europe festival, New York City, 2018
Searching for the meaning of life hasn’t been dismissed yet, it’s still the eternal quest. And this quest is exactly what the author undertakes. It is shielded by irony, sarcasm, and Instagram filters, but still addressed.
– Marius Burokas, Vilnius Review, poet and translator
> Jurga Ivanauskaitė Literary Prize (Lithuania, 2018)
> Penang Monthly Book Prize (Malaysia, 2018)
> European Union Prize for Literature (2019)
> Book of the Year in Lithuania (2018)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gabija Grušaitė is an author and curator; Cold East is her second novel. A graduate of Anthropology & Media from Goldsmiths College, UK, Gabija has defined her creative pursuit by the relentless search of new horizons through travel. In 2009, she settled in Penang, Malaysia, where she cofounded an independent, contemporary art centre – Hin Bus Depot – as its curator-in-chief. She currently lives in Vilnius, Lithuania with her two Malaysian dogs, Gorgeous and Hazelnut. More.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Kipras Šumskas has translated movies, magazines, several books, and far too many legal documents. In his spare time, he teaches Creative Thinking to teenagers and kids in informal education projects.
other books by Gabija Grušaitė
> „Stasys Šaltoka. Vieneri metai“, published by LAPAS books, 2017 More
> „Neišsipildymas“ (Unfulfilled), published by LAPAS books, 2020 More
translated from Lithuanian by Kipras Šumskas
original text editor Ūla Ambrasaitė
language editor Rosalind Chua
design Zigmantas Butautis
cover image The Taable, Eggs and Leggs
256 pages, 126x196x20 mm
original title: Gabija Grušaitė, „Stasys Šaltoka. Vieneri metai“, published by LAPAS books, 2017
first English edition: Gabija Grušaitė, „Cold East“, translated by Kipras Šumskas, published by Clarity Publishing, Malaysia, 2018
LAPAS books, 2019 September