Fishes and Dragons
Number of pages: 408
Dimensions: 155 mm x 217 mm
Publisher: UAB Baltų lankų leidyba
The title of the book symbolically refers to two cultures: Christian European and traditional Chinese. Two different stories are interwoven here: one depicts the life of a Jesuit painter in 18th century China, the other mostly takes place in an old-town flat of a present-day European city. The flat is inhabited by an old woman, her daughter and two adult granddaughters; it eventually turns out that one of them is writing the Chinese line of the book. The novel is suffused with dialogue that can be seen through the prism of Zen principles (as the author herself has suggested). On the other hand, the misunderstandings and playfulness in the book creates a comic effect with a tinge of the absurd. With her signature lapidary style, Undinė Radzevičiūtė has written a novel where the texture of the modern European story line is colored with oblique reflections of traditional Chinese culture and mentality. The Chinese narrative subtly reveals the unbridgeable gap between Christian European and traditional Chinese mindsets in the context of the failure of the Jesuits' missionary effort.
Fishes and Dragons is the winner of the European Union Prize for Literature 2015. The aim of the European Union Prize for Literature is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe's contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of the literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.
Other books by Undinė Radzevičiūtė
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Publishing house “Baltos lankos” was established in 1992 with intention to publish high quality literature. The range of our publications is very wide: new books by Lithuanian authors, translations of elitist foreign literature as well as most popular works of fiction, crime fiction, monographs, children book, academic writings are constantly being brought out. “Baltos lankos” continuously search for new possibilities to publish new titles, collaborate with translators, national and international authors.