In Baltimore, Jelena Lengold offers an exquisite portrayal of a Belgrade writer, a woman in her forties, whose tightly packed, unresolved inner conflicts with herself and the people closest to her have led her to a sobering dead end. She is compelled to turn around and look closely at the routine of her everyday life – her marriage, family, friends, loves, lies and the likes. What she finds is a strange mixture of uncertainty and boredom, insecurity and determination which grow into full blown frustration at sessions with her therapist. The writer’s block the protagonist suffers from is a metaphor for a blocked life, a life led in the recesses of reality represented in bouts of silence, webcam voyeurism, and Internet flings. Lengold’s prose style – witty, sharp and somber– strikes a resounding tone for telling the truth of one of our lives.
Jelena Lengold (Kruševac, 1959) is a short story writer, novelist and poet.
She has published books of poems: The Deterioration of Botany (Raspad botanike,1982), The Spindle (Vreteno,1984), The Poppy Region (Podneblje maka, 1986), The Passing of Angels (Prolazak anđela, 1989), Images from the Life of a Kappelmeister (Sličice iz života kapelmajstora, 1991), A Well of Harsh Words (Bunar teških reči, 2011); short story books: Rain-Drenched Lions (Pokisli lavovi, 1994), The Elevator (Lift, 1999), The Fairground Magician (Vašarski mađioničar, 2008, 2009) and Saw Me in Half (Pretesteriši me, 2009); and a novel, Baltimore (2003, 2011).
For the book of poems, Images from the Life of a Kappelmeister, she received the “Đura Jakšić” Award.
For the book of poems, A Well of Harsh Words she received the “Jefimijin vez” Award.
For her book of short stories, The Fairground Magician, she received the European Union Prize for Literature (2011), as well as the “Female Pen”, “Biljana Jovanović” and “Hit Liber” Awards.
Her poetry and fiction have been translated into English, Italian, Danish, French, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Ukrainian and Czech.
Jelena Lengold’s stories and poems have been included in several anthologies of modern Serbian literature, published both in Serbia and abroad.
Jelena Lengold spent ten years working as a journalist and editor in the Radio Belgrade Culture Department. Until 2011, she was the Project Coordinator of the Conflict Management Program for Nansenskolen in Lillehammer, a Norwegian Humanitarian Academy.