Janis Jonevs and Tristan Priimägi

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Venue: Estonian Writers’ Union (see on map)
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Original language: English
Translated to: Estonian
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Jānis Joņevs

Jānis Joņevs (1980) is a Latvian writer whose debut novel Jelgava 94 brought him a great deal of attention and also won the European Union Prize for Literature. The book is about the lives of Latvian youth in a nondescript city in the mid-1990s. The story centres on young guys who listen to all kinds of alternative music, especially heavy rock, and their adventures and trials, all through a slightly pathetic lens, although the author is never contemptuous – no doubt in part thanks to the autobiographical elements of the novel. The fantasies and outlandishness of heavy music are contrasted with the mundane reality of the irrelevant small city. In the lives of these young characters, dreams collide with reality. Despite – or perhaps thanks to – focussing on a small subculture, Jelgava 94 has found many fans in Estonia and they can meet Joņevs, when he talks to critic and heavy fan Tristan Priimägi.

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