On the cusp of womanhood, Daina Tabūna’s heroines are constantly confronted with the unexpected. Adult life seems just around the corner, but so are the kinds of surprise encounter which might change everything.
Two siblings realise they’re too old to be playing with paper dolls and begin to re-examine their close relationship. A girl who dreads visiting her religious grandmother develops her own fixation with Jesus. And a disaffected young woman, listlessly wandering the streets, stumbles into an awkward relationship with an office worker. The narrators of these three stories each try, in their own way, to make sense of how to behave in a world that doesn’t give any clear answers.
The Secret Box features three stories from Pirmā reize (Mansards, 2014): ‘Deals with God’ (‘Darījumi ar Dievu’), ‘The Secret Box’ (‘Slepenā kaste’) and ‘The Spleen, My Favourite Organ’ (‘Liesa, mans mīļākais organs’).
‘The Secret Box is an engaging, thoughtful and disarmingly varied selection of stories that deal with important topics… A thoroughly enjoyable read offering real insights into the many ways that the lives of ordinary people are affected by huge political turmoil.’ – Sabotage Reviews
This publication is supported by Latvian Writers’ Union (Latvijas Rakstnieku Savienība) and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.
About the translator
Jayde Will (1978) is a literary translator. He has an M.A. in Fenno-Ugric Linguistics from Tartu University. His translations of Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian authors have been published in numerous journals, including The Poetry Review, Trafika and Mantis, as well as anthologies such as the Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature and several Best European Fiction anthologies. He has also translated subtitles for numerous films, including the Lithuanian classic The Devil’s Bride and the award-winning Vanishing Waves.
About the illustrator
Artist-printmaker Mark Andrew Webber (1984) specialises in painstakingly-researched typographic and geometric projects, including his ‘Where in the World’ series of enormous city maps and ‘FORM’, a six-part study of line and form. Find out more about him here.