Happy Future / short stories Renata Šerelytė, Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė

Happy Future / short stories

Published: 2015

ISBN: 9789986398448

Number of pages: 160

Dimensions: 145 mm x 217 mm

Cover: Hardback

Publisher: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla

The form of cultural cooperation when two writers publish one book following the principle “to write separately, to publish together” is a rarity. The book compiled by a female duet is more dynamic, has a more variable spectrum and more abundant coverage than a collection compiled by a single author that often fails to avoid monotony. Partnership of the short stories becomes an intriguing impetus: accords and contrasts, supplements and mismatches, which extend the semantic content of the book under discussion. It is strange that the short stories seem to be coupled almost naturally.

The first couple of the short stories (Prosenelė [The Great-grandmother] by Sintija and Giminės šaknys [The Family Roots] by Renata) sharply positions the dominants of the worldview of both authors and their cardinally different style of narration. The problematic kernel of this couple is designated in the titles of both short stories – the origin and roots of the family, the meaning of the genetic tradition, physical, cultural and moral inheritance. Sintija’s girl visualises her non-existent (imaginary?) great-grandmother in the mysterious space of an old estate, and Renata’s five-year-old boy simply tries to get rid of any family ties – he is ashamed to have a grandfather. The situation is programmed into the hepi fjūčer times when modifying flora and fauna and cloning people are going to become everydayness, all the specimen are going to be sterile and alike, the vector of the past stops existing. The fanciful model of dystopia being created by Renata with the help of grotesque measures smacks of real threats. In her other short stories technocratic civilisation, instrumental thinking, mechanisms of power of bureaucrats, judges, party leaders are also shown as destructive and dehumanising threats of the new reality.

Performers of Renata’s roles – business people, politicians, the former Soviet functionaries, the “new Lithuanians” – are egoistic, unsympathetic social climbers, bribe takers, money-grubbers, people who are making money illegally, who have blocked access to the lakes for the public, have build tasteless villas, who look down on a poor ordinary man. In representing the negative social and political climate through the status and privileges, interests and manipulations of the supposed “elite” the writer intensifies criticism ranging from mockery (through all the stages of satire) to sarcasm. The world reveals itself somewhat more gently and compassionately, sooner from the perspective of an ordinary man, a young girl, a woman, in Sintija’s short stories; her characters – young people who cannot overcome their complexes, whose ambitions are unfulfilled and who are not understood or are rejected – are meek, scared characters of the periphery; it was those people who Fyodor Dostoyevsky referred to as “humiliated and insulted”, whereas Renata’s characters are those who humiliate and harm. The employee of the Botanical Garden who takes care of the rhododendrons, but who got rid of her baby, the florist with her disabled son, Fortūnatas who desires women but is afraid of them, a tenant single mother, a woman who is asking for social housing – all of them are people in need, as opposed to Renata’s characters who live in abundance. Both the shortage and abundance, however, are related merely to matter. Both writers reflect painful peculiarities of the condition of the current society in their own way, but Renata also programmes the grim future if these unwelcome trends intensify.

The best short stories of the collection are Ežeras ateina pas tave [The Lake is Coming to You] by Renata and Nekaltutis [The Innocent] by Sintija, which won Antanas Vaičiulaitis Literary Award in 2012. These two short stories draw both authors together by some invisible ties coming close each other on the existential plain.

Eighteen short stories of the collection criss-cross by unexpected configurations therefore this unusual book is worth reading. The minuet is a couple dance.



Great–great grandmother
The summer is sunny and windy. Cumulus clouds float by so quickly that their paths become a never–ending film. Boats sail in, giant elephants and giraffes disembark, injured crusaders fall from the trotters and their wounds heal before your eyes, the princess adjusts her veil – her hairstyle becomes disheveled, a small mirror falls out of her hand and she grows a witch’s nose. Everything there is different than it is on earth. When things get boring here, below, then you can always toss your head back to the sky. The sky is endless, adults say that it is impossible to imagine this. But why always just imagine? This calms and comforts me because then it means that the sky is one thing that is eternal. At least, one of the things that I know about. Everything else ends, quite quickly. Candies in a bag, summer, the textbooks of first grade. The life of a dog, even the life of a human ends. But the sky always exists, it always hangs above y

Renata Šerelytė

Renata Šerelytė (1970) is one of the most widely translated Lithuanian authors. Her works are available in German, Russian, Swedish and Georgian. She debuted in 1995 with a collection of short stories, and since then she has written almost 20 books. Coming from a small town herself, she often writes about daily life in small towns, which in her books is bleak and dreary, but also sweet and nostalgic. Her stories and her characters contain autobiographical details, and her greatest achievements are generally stylistic: she is a true master at crafting sentences. Šerelytė has also written several popular books for children, and is one of the few Lithuanian writers who also writes historical fantasy stories for teenagers and young adults. Her published books include a collection of poetry, essays and a few plays. She is also very highly thought of as a reviewer and critic.

Mėlynbarzdžio vaikai (2008)

Translated into German by Cornelius Hell, and winning the Human Rights Book Award in 2010, this is a very interesting literary achievement. On one hand, it is a fictionalised autobiography, containing quite a lot of features that are typical of a great number of Lithuanians. The story begins in Siberia, were two young Lithuanian children are growing up with a deported mother and a local father. After the mother’s death, which looks like suicide, the children go back to live with their relatives, in a homeland they have never seen before. They somehow manage to grow up there, in spite of the cold reception from the people and the community, but it does not end happily. There is a third child, who remains in Russia and grows up a very different person. The novel is written in what at first appear to be numbered chapters, but later they turn out to be numbered speakers: the mother (and later her ghost), the girl, the boy and the lost baby. Each has their own perspective on both the social context and the inner, deeper core of what makes a being human.

B i b l i o g r a p h y :
Žuvies darinėjimas: short stories. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 1995.
Balandų ratas: short stories. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 1997.
Jundos lemtis: adventure short stories for children (pseudonym Skomantas). – Vilnius: Tvermė, 1997.
Prakeiktas kardas: story of king Mindaugas: adventure short stories for children. – Kaunas: Šviesa, 1997.
Prakeiktas kardas: story of king Mindaugas: adventure short stories for children (in Braille). – Vilnius: Mūsų žodis, 1999.
Ledynmečio žvaigždės: novel. – Vilnius: Tyto alba, 1999.
Ėriukas po baobabu, arba Megztinis su uodega: poems for children. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2000.
O ji tepasakė miau: short stories. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2001.
Vardas tamsoje: novel. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2004, 2013.
Laukiniai mėnesiai: essays. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2006.
Balzamuotojas: short stories. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2006.
Balzamuotojas: short stories (in Braille). – Vilnius: Lietuvos aklųjų biblioteka, 2007.
Krakatukų pievelė: fairy tale. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2007, 2013.
Krakatukų pievelė: fairy tale (in Braille). – Vilnius: Lietuvos aklųjų biblioteka, 2008.
Mėlynbarzdžio vaikai: novel. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2008, 2009.
Krakatukų brūzgėlynai: fairy tale. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2008, 2013.
Krakatukų brūzgėlynai: fairy tale (in Braille). – Vilnius: Lietuvos aklųjų biblioteka, 2008.
Trenktukė, liūno vaikas: novella. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2009.
Krakatukų jūra: fairy tale. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2009, 2011, 2013.
Krakatukų jūra: fairy tale (in Braille). – Vilnius: Lietuvos aklųjų biblioteka, 2010.
Vėjo raitelis: novel. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2010.
Krakatukų jūra: fairy tale. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2011.
Krakatukai kosmose: fairy tale. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2012.
Sraige, nerūkyk: poems. – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2013.
Krakatukai sniegynuose: fairy tale. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2013.
Kokono baladės: novel. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2014.
Rebekos salos: novel. – Vilnius: Alma littera, 2014.
Hepi fjūčer: 18 short stories (together with L. S. Černiauskaitė). – Vilnius: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla, 2015.

B o o k s i n f o r e i g n l a n g u a g e s :
Sterne der Eiszeit: Roman (Deutsch von A. Galvosaitė). – Berlin: Rowohlt, 2002.
Gwiazdy epoki lodowcowej (przełożyła A. Rybałko). – Wałowiec: Czarne, 2004.
Imię w ciemności (przełożyła A. Rybałko). – Wołowiec: Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2005.
Blaubarts Kinder (aus dem Litauischen von C. Hell). – Klagenfurt: Wieser, 2010.

A w a r d s :
1995 2nd award in publishing house “Skomantas” competition of history-adventure short stories for teenagers.
1996 1st award in Lithuanian Radio and Television contest for radio plays.
1997 Šarūnas Marčiulionis award for the book “Jundos lemtis” as the best book of lithuanian author of the year for children.
1999 2nd place in a contest by Lithuanian Open Fund for play “Stoglangis”.
2000 Žemaitė literary award for novel “Ledynmečio žvaigždės”.
2001 Antanas Vaičiulaitis literary award for short stories “Vėjo vėduoklė”, “Raudona ir balta” and “Saldžioji valanda”.
2007 Book “Krakatukų pievelė” was nominated in the Book of the Year Campaign, Children section.
2007 Book “Balzamuotojas” was nominated in the Book of the Year Campaign, Prose section.
2008 Book “Mėlynbarzdžio vaikai” was included into the list of twelve most creative books of the year.
2009 Book “Trenktukė, liūno vaikas” was nominated in the Book of the Year Campaign, Children section.
2009 Book “Mėlynbarzdžio vaikai” was nominated in the Book of the Year Campaign, Prose section.
2010 Jurga Ivanauskaitė literary award for novel “Mėlynbarzdžio vaikai”.
2010 Book “Krakatukų jūra” was nominated in the Book of the Year Campaign, Children section.
2012 Book “Krakatukai kosmose” was nominated in the Book of the Year Campaign, Children section.
2014 Book “Kokono baladės” was included into the list of twelve most creative books of the year.

Other books by Renata Šerelytė

Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė

Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė (1976) is the first Lithuanian to receive the European Union Prize for Literature. Her prose is very feminine, deeply psychological, and even Freudian. She portrays people in difficult and unusual emotional situations, and watches them disentangling themselves. She often analyses families, and relationships between men and women. However, in her works, painful and hard experiences are usually for the best, as they inspire, or even force, necessary changes, in order to make her characters better people. In this sense, she is a very optimistic writer, with a strong faith in a human being. She has written three novels and several collections of short prose, and she is also quite successful as a playwright. Her play "Liučė čiuožia" has been put on in Lithuania, Russia, Italy and Scandinavian countries.

Černiauskaitė’s third novel "Medaus mėnuo" won critical acclaim and was awarded the Jurga Ivanauskaitė Prize.

Other books by Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė


Lietuvos rašytojų sąjungos leidykla
K. Sirvydo g. 6, 01101 Vilnius

Tel.: (8 5) 262 1637
Fax.: (8 5) 262 8945
Email: info@rsleidykla.lt

Lithuanian Writers' Union Publishing House was established in 1990. Currently we publish around 60 books per year and are ranged between 10 biggest Lithuanian publishing houses. The scope of our publications is wide: new books by Lithuanian authors, including prose, poetry, essays, memoirs and critical studies, also the first books by young authors, books from the literary canon and exiled authors as well as translations of elite foreign literature.