Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš (Arcadia Books, 2014)
Originally published in Latvian as Miesas krāsā domino by Preses Nams in 1999
Republished in Latvian in Raksti 8: Garu izsaukšana. Miesas krāsā domino by Mansards in 2009
"Skujiņš is a master at personae and a cosmopolitan writer, filling his landscape with extraordinary and unforgettable characters" –World Literature Today
When Baroness Valtraute von Bruegen’s officer husband’s body is severed in two she is delighted to find that the lower half has been sewn onto the upper body of the humble local captain Ulste. She conceives a child only to see the return of her husband in one piece.
A beautifully written surrealist novel cum political allegory, Flesh-Coloured Dominoes transports the reader between 18th Century Baltic gentry and the narrator’s life in the modern world. The connection between the two narratives gradually becomes clear in a mesmerizing fantasy of love, lust and loss as Skijunš creates a work of sublime art that is funny, moving, enlightening and philosophical in equal measure.
About the author: Zigmunds Skujiņš, one of the most renowned Latvian writers of the late twentieth century, was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1926. His work has been translated across Europe and several of his books have been made into films. He is the recipient of numerous Latvian and international literature awards, including a lifetime grant from the Latvian State Cultural Capital Foundation.
'There are few figures in contemporary literature as well respected as Zigmunds Skujiņš" –Virginia Quarterly Review