Ričardas Gavelis, novelist, playwright and journalist, was born in 1950 – twelve years after the Hitler-Stalin pact led to the Soviet annexation of the independent Lithuanian Republic founded in 1918. By the time he reached adulthood, the Soviet Union had entered the stultifying Brezhnev years. He trained as physicist, and came to literature through physics, when he was assigned to work on academic journals and found that he could write.
He loved beautiful things, good food, drink and listening to the blues. According to his widow, “he played poker with demons and death”, and became known for his bright, intriguing and deliberately provocative prose, which retained something of the scientist’s logic, while coming under the powerful influence of James Joyce.
He died in 2002, and is remembered not only as a literary figure enjoying international acclaim, but also as a free spirit with an unromantic view of the world.