An American writer of Lithuanian origin, Rūta Šepetys says that her new book “Between Shades of Gray,” a story about a family exiled to Siberia, often has been confused lately with British writer E.L. James’ erotic trilogy that goes by a similar name, delfi.lt wrote on 20 May.
However, this doesn’t disturb the writer at all. On the contrary, she sees some positives in this situation.
“E.L. James unknowingly created lingerie for the geographical and historical novel, and thanks to her, Lithuania has never looked more sexy,” says Ms. Šepetys.
Writer comments on the misunderstanding arising from the similarity of the names of the books were published this week in www.npr.org.
Ms. Šepetys’ novel, called “Between Shades of Gray,” is a story about Lithuanian exiles. It has won international awards, and has already been published in 29 countries. The popular E.L. James erotic trilogy is titled “Fifty Shades of Gray,” and deals with very different subject matter.
The writer tells how she is obligated to explain the situation to all those who accidentally came to her book presentation, expecting E.L. James. She notes that in this case, the mix-up with the books is not necessarily a bad thing.
“If I am lucky, I am also able to explain that Lithuania did not exist on the map for 50 years, and that Stalin killed millions of people,” says Ms. Šepetys.
According to Ms. Šepetys, it can also be a victory, when a person comes to her presentation by mistake and leaves with her novel instead. She sees it as an opportunity to tell a story that was hidden for many years – as well as to explain that the Baltic States differ from the Balkan Peninsula.
“It is true that many Americans confuse the Baltic States with the Balkan Peninsula. Neither can they imagine where on the map Lithuania is situated, nor what we Lithuanians even look like,” says Ms. Šepetys.
According to the data of the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre, during the Soviet occupation in 1940-1952, almost 300,000 Lithuanian citizens were deported.