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About the author


Laima Vince is a writer, poet, and literary translator. For over twenty years Laima Vince has been interested in the historical upheavals and transformations that took place in the Baltic States. As a student, when presented with the choice to study German Literature at the comfortable University of Konstanz on the Boden See, Laima chose instead to travel to Soviet-occupied Lithuania to study poetry translation with Lithuanian poet Marcelijus Martinaitis at Vilnius University. Hardly had Laima arrived, the singing revolution began, throwing the Baltics into social turmoil. Laima was told: "You speak English, you speak Lithuanian, go translate for the independence movement." Laima kept a diary of events from the streets of revolution, and reflected on the small every day details of a crumbling empire. The result of these notes is Laima Vince's memoir, Lenin's Head on a Platter (Lithuanian Writers Union Publishers, 2008).


Twenty years after the independence movement began, Laima Vince returned to Vilnius as a Fulbright lecturer to document life in this fledgling democracy. Over the past four years Laima has traveled around Lithuania's provinces and cities collecting oral histories. She has spoken with postwar partisan fighters; liaison women; Holocaust survivors; exiles to Siberia; German women exiled to Tajikistan; village verbal charmers and healers; young women who have been victims of human trafficking and the social workers who work towards their recovery in underground shelters; Chechen war refugees; gypsies; and gays and lesbians who are fighting for recognition and legal rights in Lithuanian society. The result is the first draft of a nonfiction book, titled The Snake in the Vodka Bottle. The book is part memoir, part travelogue, and part oral history.


Laima Vince also writes for children. She lived with her three children for ten years on a small island off the coast of Maine, population 900. Her novel for children ages 8 –12, The Ghost in Hannah's Parlor (Domus Lituanus, 2009) merges the history of the Casco Bay islands with the lives of Maine island children.


Laima Vince graduated from Columbia University School of the Arts in 1994. She is the recipient of two Fulbright lectureships; a National Endowment for the Arts grant in Literature; a PEN Translation Fund grant.




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