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Co-sponsored by V.Belokon and Baltic International Bank, Nora Iksten’s novel „Mātes piens” to see the light of day

News - October 23, 2015

On 22 October at the Community Centre of the Ikshkile Municipality (IIkšķiles tautas nams), a presentation of the ninth novel included within the series of Latvian historical novels “Mēs. Latvija, XX gadsimts” was held. The ninth novel titled “Mātes piens” has been written by Nora Ikstena. The National Culture Capital Foundation (Valsts kultūrkapitāla fonds) of the Republic of Latvia, a patron of arts Valeri Belokon and Baltic International Bank cosponsored the publication of the book.

The novel “Mātes piens” (Mother’s Milk) embraces the period from the end of World War II and tells about the fates of three generations of women. The story is set in the 70s and 80s of the 20th century. Throughout the narration, the novel centres around abandonment and is principally concerned with abandoning the husband and the father, the dreams and the hopes, the work and the beliefs, the friends and the beloved ones. All of the generations of the women had travelled a hard road and had lived unblessed lives. And yet they were strongly motivated by the mercy and forgiveness. Even as a child, the daughter had been continuously guided by the motive to keep her mother living, a mother who had made a deliberate choice not to breastfeed the daughter in order to prevent the child from inheriting the mother’s pain and desperation.

Valeri Belokon, the sponsor of the book series “Mēs. Latvija, XX gadsimts” (We. Latvia, 20th Century) and the Chairperson of the Board of Baltic International Bank, has expressed his appreciation with the following words: “History is written by the victors. But just the events lived through and remembered in the Latvian families really underlie the true history. In her novel, Nora Ikstena speaks openly and straightforwardly, without beating around the bush, and touches your heart in the deepest possible way.”

On the initiative of the patron of arts V.Belokon, Baltic International Bank supports the publication by Dienas Grāmatas Publishing House of the books within the series „Mēs. Latvija, XX gadsimts”): the newly presented novel „Mātes piens” and literary works by Gundega Repshe and Inga Abele, which will see the light of day in the first half of next year.  

Valeri Belokon expresses the opinion that historical testimonies shape our identity. Similarly to the accumulated financial wealth, the literature is the national heritage. Therefore, the commitment of the outstanding Latvian writers to building bridges of mutual understanding between the nations, epochs and societies arouses great admiration since awareness of our own roots contributes to developing strong personality traits. 

Latvian writer Gundega Repshe is the initiator behind publishing the series “Mēs. Latvija, XX gadsimts”. The series involves the efforts of thirteen writers, and each of the writers reflects a particular period of the 20th century history. By engaging into this project, Baltic International Bank continues the tradition of commemorating notable events through the prism of artistic imagination of the authors of the brilliant pieces of literature.

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