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NORA IKSTENA

Novelist, short story writer and nonfiction author. Writes columns for the Latvian daily Diena. Received the Annual Award of the Latvian Ministry of Culture for achievements in literature in 1998.

In 1995-97 she worked as a guest editor for a special issue of the Review of Contemporary Fiction (Illinois, USA) devoted to new Latvian fiction. Her stories have been published in Finnish, German, Russian, Slovenian, French, Swedish, and English translation. Nominated for the 2001 Baltic Council Literary Award.

Nora Ikstena graduated from the University of Latvia where she studied the Latvian language and literature. Her first book (The Homecoming, 1992) is a biography of a Latvian diplomat and writer.

Ikstena's stories started to appear soon thereafter, and her first collection of stories (Trifles and Amusements, 1995) was an immediate success. The following collection (Misleading Romances, 1997) gained critical acclaim as well.

She puts the people of her stories in different settings that range from the shabbiest spots of contemporary Latvia to the reality of myths and makes them solve unexpected psychological problems.