BALTIC FOCUS: Q&A with Inga Ābele

| by Leah Cross

Meet Latvian writer, Inga Ābele.

Tell us about your writing and your literary background. What inspired you to become a writer?

My parents have always been great readers. We didn’t have a TV when I was very young so my Grandfather read to us aloud. As a result I learned to read at an early age and understood the value of reading, and of being able to view life from different perspectives.

What are the hardest and easiest parts of being a writer?

The easiest and most worthwhile parts are the conversations. The hardest is the physical work – writing a novel requires work!

What is exciting about Estonian / Latvian / Lithuanian literature at the moment?

That depends on the reader.

What other Estonian / Latvian / Lithuanian writer would you recommend? (And can you think of a UK writer to compare them to?)

I would recommend Lithuanian author Kristina Sabaliauskaitė, especially her Silva Rerum series.

Regardless of country of origin, what’s the greatest book you’ve ever read, and why? (If there is one!)

Thinking and reading is like ascending a flight of stairs: can you stop on one step?

Is it true that you still write using a typewriter?

Not all of the time. I only write on my old typewriter when I need to be alone and purify my mind. I find that the rhythm of an old typewriter is similar to drumming.

We’ve noticed that your books are becoming longer. Is it because there is more to say?

Each content has its own form.

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