Sun-Tzu's Life in the Holy City of Vilnius

Ricardas Gavelis (Author) Stasys Eidrigevicius (Artist)
& 1 more


"This book is not for the faint of heart," Andrew Wessels has observed about Ricardas Gavelis's Vilnius Poker, and this is all the more true for Sun-Tzu's Life in the Holy City of Vilnius, the last work the Lithuanian master of the macabre wrote before his sudden death in 2002 at the age of 52. Gavelis, as always, ladles deeply from the wellspring of history, but the novel, although set inside the corruption and cynicism of Lithuania's post-Soviet space, is horrifyingly prescient of today's politics, when Russia is ruled by a KGB agent and the United States by a reality TV star. The novel takes the form of an authobigraphy of a man we know only as the Sun-Tzu of Vilnius, a child prodigy, revolutionary, and government puppet master, who retreats to an underground compound to wage war on the cockles of the earth. Be prepared for the Gavelis rollercoaster, as he weaves together a story of great loves and great hates, the mundane and the strange, the hunter and the hunted, the horror and the humor that startlingly erupts out of the blackest of situations. As Gavelis himself wrote about the book, "when good and evil intersect within a single person's heart, expect hideous results."

Product Details

Pica Pica Press
Publish Date
May 30, 2019
5.5 X 0.58 X 8.5 inches | 0.71 pounds
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About the Author

Ričardas Gavelis (1950-2002) was a theoretical physicist at Lithuania's Institute of Physics and Mathematics for several years before irrevocably turning to writing. While working for cultural journals, he wrote novels, short story collections, and film scenarios. Gavelis also wrote on economics and politics for newspapers and journals. This is his third novel to be translated into English.
Stasys Eidrigevicius, a prolific prize-winning photographer and artist in numerous mediums, was born in 1949 in Lithuania and moved to Poland in 1980. He has exhibited all over the world, including Japan, France, Italy and the United States. His awards include the Grand Prix Savignac '93 at the International Salon of Poster in Paris and a Gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York.
Since obtaining a master's degree in Lithuanian language and literature at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2006, Elizabeth Novickas has been working as a literary translator. Her book-length translations include works by Ričardas Gavelis, Petras Cvirka, Kazys Boruta, Giedra Radvilavičiūte, and Jurgis Kunčinas. Novickas was awarded a translation grant by the National Endowment for the Arts and in 2011 won the Lithuanian Association of Translators' St. Jerome Award.