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127 EZERA, Regı-na (born Šamreto) (1930–2002) Latvian prose writer, journalist and public figure. Regı-na Šamreto was born on 20 December 1930, into a working-class family in Riga. Her father, Robert Šamreto, was a carpenter. Her mother, Lu -cija Šamreto, was a housewife who had been educated at Riga Polish gymnasium and trained as a nurse after World War II. Regina’s family members lived in a small flat in a working -class district of Riga. They included Regı-na’s grandmother, who had lost four children, and Felicija, one of her three surviving daughters. Regı-na’s maternal family came originally from Latgale in southeastern Latvia, a region characterized by ethnic pluralism, Catholicism (as opposed to Protestantism in other regions ) and a distinctive set of cultural traditions. Regı-na later recalled early memories of Belarussian folksongs and witticisms, Catholic prayers in Polish and Latin, as well as the specific Polish dialect spoken in her family. Up until the age of six, she had been practically without a mother tongue and had learned Latvian at school as a foreign language. Regı-na also vividly remembered craving the countryside, in place of the shabby townscape of her childhood neighborhood. Once she had become a professional writer, she would spend the summers working at her country house Brieži (Deer) near Ķegums, a small town in the vicinity of Riga. In the late 1970s, she settled there permanently. Long walks in the forest, swimming and picking mushrooms were her favorite pastimes, in which she was always accompanied by her beloved Alsatian. In 1938, Regı-na Šamreto entered Riga Elementary school No. 28. During World War II, she and her family spent long periods outside Riga with distant relatives near Kaibala and Rembate, where the young Regı-na took part in various forms of agricultural work and came into intimate contact with nature: a “dark-haired barefoot girl,” in her own words, “who, standing beneath the huge dome of heaven, a shepherd’s twig under her arm, suddenly discovered the human relation to Time and Space and sensed the transience of life, the eternity of Living—the basic themes for the would-be writer” (Tabu -ns 1980, 21; S. M., trans). In 1944, the family was deported by the retreating German army to a labor camp at Acken on the Elbe near Magdenburg. They returned 128 to Latvia (which had come under Soviet rule) in 1945 and Regı-na Šamreto enrolled in the N. Draudzin ,a Riga Secondary School No. 7. After leaving school, she studied journalism at Latvia State University (1950–1955), married twice and gave birth to three daughters: Inese (b. 1951); Ilze (b. 1955) and Aija (b. 1957). Neither of her marriages were successful and Regina Lasenberga (first marriage)/Kindzule (second marriage) assumed the responsibility for raising her daughters alone. It was during her student period, in 1954, that she began working at the editorial office of the youth magazine Draugs (Friend), as well as for the children’s newspaper Pionieris (Pioneer). In 1955, she published her first literary piece, a poetic sketch entitled “Pat ı-kšk ,is nepalı-dze -ja” (Even the thumb did not help) under the pen-name of Ezera (meaning lake), a name inspired by her attachment to the natural world. She also engaged extensively in literary criticism and review. In 1957, Ezera became a professional writer, making her living by writing so-called ‘interior’ reviews (reviews of literary works for publishing houses). Some of these reviews were later compiled and published in 1989 under the title Virtuve - bez pava -rgra -matas (In the kitchen without a cookery book). In 1961, Ezera published a collection of stories, Un cel ,š ve -l ku -p (Dust on the road still unsettled) and the novel Zem pavasara debesı-m (Under the spring skies), after which she joined the Latvijas Padomju Rakstnieku Savienı-ba (Latvian Soviet Writers’ Union), thus confirming her status as a professional writer. From 1965, she was a member of the Board of the Writer’s Union and Chair of its committee for the enrolment of new members (1965–1977). She was active throughout the 1960s in the Rı-gas Deputa -tu padome (Riga Council of Deputies) and a member of the Riga Communist Party Committee (1976–1978). In the late 1970s and 1980s, she represented Latvia as a member of the USSR Writers’ Union. Ezera portrayed human existence in a rich, inimitable and poetic literary style. During her most prolific period (the...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9786155053726
Related ISBN
9789637326394
MARC Record
OCLC
868217084
Pages
698
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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