Polar explorer’s book details youth in exile

Writer, polar explorer, photographer and documentary filmmaker Ivars Sīlis tells the story of his youth living in exile in Denmark in a new book, Nabagi pilīs (The Poor in Palaces).

Sīlis, born in Vestiena, Latvia, in 1944, left the country with his mother and brother, eventually joining a group of Latvian exiles living in a palace at Gurre in Denmark’s Noord-Seeland region. It is there, according to the Rīga-based publishing company Nordik, that Sīlis heard the stories of adventure that inspired him.

Sīlis particularly is known for his treks around Greenland, about which he has published several books.

Nabagi pilīs is told to his daughter. Sīlis relates his time in refugee camps and his later encounter with the Latvian storytellers who lived at Gurre.

The 224-page book is the second title by Sīlis published by Nordik. In 2003, the publishing house released Vēstules no Arktikas (Letters from the Arctic). Sīlis previously has written about his connection to Latvia in Breve fra Lettland (Letters from Latvia), published in 1992 in Denmark.

For more information about Sīlis, visit his Web site, www.silis.gl. For more about Nordik, the publishing house, visit www.nordik.lv.

Nabagi pilīs

A new book by Ivars Sīlis tells the story of his days as a young exile in Denmark.

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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