Jelgava '94 by Jānis Joņevs
(forthcoming fall 2017 as Doom 94, Wrecking Ball Press)

Originally published in Latvian as Jelgava '94 by Mansards, 2013

Winner of the 2014 European Union Prize for Literature

Even though Jelgava '94 is Jonevs' debut novel, the book quickly proved to be a big hit and bestseller in 2013. The story is set in the 1990s in the Latvian city of Jelgava and looks at the craze during this period for the alternative culture of heavy metal music. Joņevs takes the reader deep inside the world described in the novel: combining the intimate diary of a youngster trying to find himself by joining a subculture, as well as a skillful, detailed and almost documentary-like depiction of the beginnings of the second independence of Latvia. This is a story that is even more captivating for the generation that lived through the events described in the book – Joņevs is the first writer to stir up memories of this period through a fully-fledged literary depiction.

Jelgava '94 is a portrait of a generation in the 1990s who are searching for their own identity and are fans of alternative culture. This is a touching story about us as youngsters, when everybody is against the whole world and tries not to become ‘one of them’. But is it for real? Can one keep the promise?


About the Author: Born in 1980 in Jelgava, Latvia, Jānis Joņevs was educated at the Jelgava State Gymnasium and the Latvian Academy of Culture where he was awarded a Master’s Degree. Joņevs works as a copywriter and, since 2002, he has also worked as a reviewer and translator from French. 


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