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Alvydas Slepikas is one of the most multi-talented contemporary Lithuanian writers - he is a poet, prose writer, playwright, screenwriter, actor and director. He has frequently edited editions originating from the annual Spring Poetry Festival, edited the cultural weekly, Literatura ir menas, and currently oversees the fiction section of this journal. Romas Kinka works as a forensic linguist and a literary translator and finds that the two disciplines complement one another. Born in Lithuania, he has lived in England on and off since the age of six but returns to his motherland every day by translating the work of Lithuanian authors.
Prussia, “the winter of 1946. A cold and terrible postwar winter, a time of desolation”. In this bleak situation of never-ending cold and never-ending hunger, in a world in which “people are the wolves now”, Eva and Martha fight to keep their children fed and safe as Russian troops take over, and then their eldest sons steal away to Lithuania in a coal wagon. It’s no wonder that this elegant and intricate debut has garnered its Lithuanian author many awards. The children’s journeys see them labour, beg, escape knives, dodge bullets and summon every ounce of wit and strength. This tale is a testament to the tough resilience of the human spirit, and voices a lesser-known episode of European history with stylish solemnity.
A Times Book of the Year, 2019 THE SECOND WORLD WAR IS OVER. BUT THE WORLD IS FAR FROM SAFE. As victorious Russian troops sweep across East Prussia, a group of desperate children face a new battle. Confronted by critical food shortages and the onset of a bitterly cold winter, these 'wolf children' secretly cross the border into Lithuania in search of work or food to take back to their starving families. In a world still reeling from the devastation of war, the children must risk everything to survive. In the Shadow of Wolves is a story of resilience, devastation and, ultimately, hope. Based on meticulous research, Alvydas Slepikas's stunningly powerful debut novel has won over readers and critics across the world.