Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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FAQs for Lithuanians

Before you send me your requests, please take a look here. You might save yourself some time.

  • Hi, I’m Lithuanian, just like you. Can I have some stuff for free?

Yes. You can get all the free toilet paper you want in any gas station toilet.

 

  • I got drunk with one of your relatives in 1974. To what private property of yours does this entitle me?

All of it. I’ll quitclaim my condo to you. It’s in a really good location, and I don’t owe more than it’s worth. Trust me. Here’s the dotted line. _______________________

 

  • I dated your mother back when we were in high school. Can I have your pants?

I hate to break it to you, pal, but you’re already wearing my pants.

 

  • I think you’re a brilliant writer and love what you had to say about amber necklaces. Do you have any amber that you would like to give me so that I could be proud of my Lithuanian heritage?

Thank you for the compliment, but I haven’t written about amber necklaces. The last time I used the word “amber” in a sentence, it was to describe the color of Stasys Girėnas’ teeth.

 

  • I knew your (grandmother/aunt/uncle/roommate) back in 1976, and we (ate/drank/fucked/smoked/danced) in Marquette Park all the time. Can I have your social security number?

Sure, it’s 312-588-2300. What, too long? Just take out any number. I’ll work.

 

  • I’m going to (Šokių Šventė/Dainų Šventė/LT Days/Cepelinų Vakarėlis/) this summer. Can my friends and I stay in your apartment?

Dude, you have to talk to the person who used to get drunk with my relatives in 1974. They have all my stuff now. It’s nowhere close to the festival you have in mind, but I don’t see why that should stop you.

 

  • Why aren’t you going to (Šokių Šventė/Dainų Šventė/LT Days/Cepelinų Vakarėlis/)?

Because I can’t find a place to stay.

 

  • Hi. My great grandfather owned a horse that took a dump near your great grandmother’s horse back when all of us were pagan druids on shrooms. I want your children to sign up for this summer program that will teach them how to be Lithuanian for only $4,000.

We’ll talk about all these things when you give me some shrooms.

 

  • I’m Catholic, believe in God, love the Jesuits, have my former nun’s yardstick, and I’ve already bought a plot to be buried in St. Casimir Cemetery. Could you send me a copy of your book, all the essays you’ve ever written, ten percent of your salary and a photocopy of your passport?

Everything you desire is available at this link.

 

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Next appearances: City Lit Books and Volumes

If you’ve not yet had a chance to hear me read, or you would like to buy a copy of my book from me personally, have it signed, this week is your chance.

I’ll be appearing at two of the best bookstores in America: City Lit Books in Logan Square, Chicago, and Volumes Book Cafe in Wicker Park, also Chicago.

At City Lit, I’ll be reading as part of the Logan Salon Series with the likes of Rachel Slotnick (the visual artist/poet responsible for the stunning mural near the Logan Square “L” stop), Mark Magoon and Ralph Hamilton.  I’m the only author of prose at this reading, so I’ll try to compliment these fine writers by reading a lyrical section of The Fugue, one I’ve never read in public before.

At Volumes, as part of Independent Bookstore Day, I’ll be selling copies of The Fugue between 1:00-3:00, and I’ll probably stick around afterwards to help support other writers. I’m very excited to team up with Volumes, about whom The Chicago Review of Books raved.

Except for a reading in May, these will be my last appearances in Chicago until the summer, as I’m going to Europe for a few weeks to shut my busy ass down.

Logan Salon Series: April 28, 6:30, City Lit Books, 2523 N Kedzie, Chicago

Independent Bookstore Day: April 30, 1:00-3:00, Volumes, 1474 N Milwaukee, Chicago

Volumes

Photo provided by Volumes.


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Kindle countdown: buy my book for less than a cup of coffee

Between now and about 11:00 AM Central Time (GMT -6), Kindle copies of my novel, The Fugue, cost only $0.99. After that, the price will go up by $1 every 24 hours, so if you don’t get this message right away, you’ll still be able to save. This promotion is to encourage people to take a risk on a book that won’t even cost you any shelf space or weigh down your messenger bag or purse.

So…what do you have to lose? Ok…$1. But we might as well face it: you waste more on coffee.

Click here to access the offers. Get the book the Chicago Tribune calls “magisterial” while Centered on Books called it a “masterpiece of literary fiction.”

Here’s a photo of my book with a coffee cup.

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What an amazing bookstore: The Looking Glass

I thought I knew all the bookstores in Chicagoland. Then a friend of mine told me about The Looking Glass. It’s only one L stop from my house, and I learned that the owner lives a block from me. It has been on Oak Park Avenue since February of 2013.

This is just an extraordinary find, and a delight to have right in my neighborhood. It’s brightly lit used bookstore whose light blue and green walls recall a college town cafe (curiously…I felt it resembled the kind of room Alice, from The Looking Glass, might choose if she had her way). No, they don’t serve coffee, but that’s hardly an issue (not when The 206 is across the street). The website is really attractive and the owner, Steve, has excellent taste in books. I had a short talk with him and know he’s got plenty in storage. I was struck by his fiction shelves, a bibliophile’s dream: loads of classical and acclaimed contemporary titles, including those you’re “supposed to have read but didn’t”, all in very good shape and at affordable prices.

As a parent, I’m excited to have a bookstore that stocks plenty of kids’ books. But the real treat at The Looking Glass is the local author section. Obviously, both Chicago and Oak Park have a long and rich literary history (Elizabeth Berg…Edgar Rice Burroughs…Ernest Hemingway). Steve has set up two attractive shelves to feature the locals. I happened to learn that Steve also has first editions available of local authors’ works.

Tourists in the area, or anyone who ends up coming to eat at Taste of Brasil or Sen Sushi, should not miss a chance to browse and buy from The Looking Glass. Daring readers might choose to get a book wrapped in a paper bag. Given Steve’s taste, chances are these will be great surprises. My bookworm friends should look forward to birthday gifts lifted from this shelf:

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823 S Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park, IL

Just steps from the Oak Park Blue Line station.