Christine Leunens and Krista Kaer

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Venue: Estonian Writers’ Union (see on map)
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  • Conversation with writer
Original language: English
Translated to: Estonian
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Christine Leunens

Christine Leunens (1964) is a writer from New Zealand. Born in the United States to an Italian mother and Belgian father, she lived and worked in France, where she also modelled. Leunens published her first novel Primordial Soup in 1999. The book is about a Lithuanian-born mother and her daughter and their rather bizarre relationship, which allows the author to address topics ranging from religion to sex. Nine years later, she published her second novel, Caging Skies, which deals with a popular, yet inexhaustible topic – the relationship between the individual and a totalitarian society. The novel is set in 1940 in fascist Austria. The main character, zealous Hitlerjugend member Johannes discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl in their home. People tend to believe the generalisations made by the society until they come into contact with the people subjected to generalisations – and so Johannes falls in love with the girl whom the society considers unworthy of love. In 2019, the book was made into the film Jojo Rabbit by director Taika Waititi and many critics listed it among their favourites that year. Christine Leunens talks to translator Krista Kaer.

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