Nesaule talks about novel with The Smoking Poet

Zinta Aistars, a Latvian-American writer and editor-in-chief for The Smoking Poet, talks to author Agate Nesaule for the online publication’s spring issue.

Nesaule, the award-winning author of the 1995 memoir A Woman in Amber, in March saw the release of her first novel, In Love with Jerzy Kosinski.

Although the two books are similar, Nesaule explains to Aistars what separates the novel from the memoir:

I have always been aware of and fascinated by the complex interplay of memory and memoir, memoir and fiction, truth and lies, and it is really this interplay that led me to In Love. I had experiences, emotions, and dreams which I did not want to include in a memoir; I wanted to play with them and change them; I wanted to find fictional equivalents far removed from any actual events; and I wanted to imagine what was plausible but would never happen. I also wanted to preserve the authenticity of feeling that I was able to bring to A Woman in Amber. In short, I wanted to write a novel.

The interview also examines why Nesaule chose a Polish writer, rather than a Latvian, as a hero for her novel; the feminism of Anna Dūja, the lead character of In Love with Jerzy Kosinski; and the strong reaction she received to A Woman in Amber.

Learn more about Aistars on her Web site,, or her blog,

In Love with Jerzy Kosinski

In Love with Jerzy Kosinski, Agate Nesaule’s first novel, was published in March.

Where to buy

Purchase In Love with Jerzy Kosinski from

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Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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