Monday, 1 June 2009


I thought that it would be very hard to choose a Lithuanian book for my ‘Virtual Tour’ as so many authors deserve to be here! How can I write just about one book and then hope that it would represent my country and Lithuanian literature as the whole? But I knew everything would be fine when in a shop I picked up a book by Kristina Sabaliauskaite.

To tell the truth I didn’t know much about the author – we share the same name, she has a PhD in history of art, has lived in London and used to write for a Lithuanian newspaper – and I didn’t know how good the book would be. The back cover promised to reveal so many secrets that I decided not to wait and to find out if this girl is worth all the praises.

I was nicely surprised. I’d say she scores 10 out of 10. No doubt Kristina Sabaliauskaite can tell gripping stories and make you travel in time!

‘Silva Rerum’ – Latin phrase that stands for ‘forest of things’, but in the 16-18th century it used to be the title for a family chronicle, a book where Lithuanian and Polish noblemen would register important events: weddings, birth and death dates, also poems or quotes, and then pass it to the other generations. Kristina’s silva tells the story of Narwoysz family and lifts the veil that has been casted other the previous centuries. The narration is so vivid and complete that after reading the book you‘ll know what it was really like back then – you’ll know the taste, the smell, you’ll be able to imagine every single detail and to finally realise what unseen currents were governing peoples lives.

2009 is the year when we mark the millennium of Lithuania. It’s an important date that has evoked lots of discussions how we should celebrate it. ‘Silva Rerum’ is the book of the millennium as its author has put all of her talent and knowledge into producing an opus teaching us our own history – can there be a better way to celebrate such a date?

Other opinions about the book:

"...If they only knew about this book, Dan Brown and John Irwing would be terribly jealous. And Adam Mickiewicz would applaud. The book of the year - no, rather of the decade!" Emilija Visockaitė,

"... The characters and the atmosphere are drawn tastefully and with the art historian's emphasis on aesthetic details, the storyline is solidly built, the intrigue is maintained, and one can hardly stop oneself reading..." Giedrė Kazlauskaitė, "Verslo žinios", 2009 02 20

"...I would like "Silva Rerum" to become a film...", theatre director Gintaras Varnas, Kultūra,, 2009 02 14

For more information please have a look here:

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