Rankled by inaccuracies in a recent short story published in The New Yorker, Latvian literary critic Pauls Bankovskis reviews Latvians’ cameo role in twentieth-century world literature. When the author gets their facts right, he says, then portraying Latvians as neither heroes nor musclemen, but troublemakers and hangers-on is fair game. For Latvians, the sheer joy in finding themselves in a work of literature outweighs all else.
(b.1973 in Cesis, Latvia) graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Latvia in 1996. He works for the daily newspaper Diena. During the past ten years, he has published six novels, 2 collections of stories, and innumerable articles. During these years, Bankovskis’ scope has been continually increasing – he deals with the history of Latvia, its myths and legends, recent Soviet reality, as well as possible future scenarios.