Laima Kota’s novel ‘The Room’ looks into the lives of Latvian people three decades ago, when the Soviet rule was facing increasingly difficult economic challenges, and suddenly it became a lot more favorable to the human desire to live more prosperously and thus proclaiming the perestroika. The writer extracts this time from the memories of people, using all of her favorite genres – burlesque and absurd thrillers, farce and increased realism – to conclude: after what we have survived, going through the building of the Soviet state, we will be able to handle the challenges of the 21st century.
‘Perestroika in the cosmos of the communal co-living space, the characters and lives of the people afloat in a flirtatious and therefore terrible existential orgy of modesty. Has anyone ever had a room of their own (greetings to Virginia Wolf, unmistakingly)? Could it be that, at least in their imagination, somebody has built one? Stylistic friction of Soviet-era films with the rich experience and lush personal handwriting of Laima Kota reveals the carnival canvas onto which the next Latvian independence had to be painted. The imposed friendship between nations and the kaleidoscopic bonds of collective life have created a framework of farse in which the sole life of every human being is squeeszed in.’ (Gundega Repše)
The book was published in the series ‘We. Latvia. XX Century.’ within the framework of the SCCF’s target programme ‘National Identity’.