(Jeva Simonaitytė). Born Jan. 23, 1897, in the village of Vanagai, now in Klaipėda Raion. Soviet Lithuanian writer. People’s Writer of the Lithuanian SSR (1967).
Simonaitite grew up in poverty and was self-educated. She began publishing in 1914. Her novel The Fate of the Šimonises (1935; State Prize of Lithuania, 1936; Russian translation, 1966) depicted the life of the Lithuanians of the Klaipėda region and their resistance to forcible germanization. She was persecuted during the fascist occupation.
Simonaitite’s novella Pikčiurnenė (1953; Russian translation, Buše and Her Sisters, 1954) exposed the true nature of the kulaks. The novel Vilius Karalius (parts 1-2, 1939-56; State Prize of the Lithuanian SSR, 1958; Russian translation, 1961) is a panorama of Lithuanian life during the early 20th century. Simonaitite’s autobiographical trilogy, comprising That’s How It Was (1960; Russian translation, 1963), In Another’s House (1962; Russian translation 1965), and An Unfinished Book (1965; Russian translation, 1968), covers the period from the early 20th century to the end of World War II (1939–45). The work focuses on the development of the artist’s personality. Stories of the Recent Past (1968) is a sequel to the trilogy.
Simonaitite’s novel Kunialis’ Last Journey (1971; Russian translation, 1974) depicts Lithuania during and after the war. Simonaitite’s works, traditional in themes and techniques, link national history with the development of 20th-century progressive world literature. Her works have been translated into many languages. She has been awarded three orders.
WORKSRastai. vols. 1–6. Vilnius, 1956-58.
In Russian translation:
A bylo tak; V chuzhom dome; Neokonchennaia kniga. Moscow, 1973.
REFERENCESSlutskis, M. “Tropa, kotoraia vyvela na stolbovuiu dorogu.” In Nachalo vsekh nachal. Moscow, 1975.
Lietuviu literatūros istorija, vol. 3, part 2. Vilnius, 1965. Vol. 4: Vilnius, 1968.
Dambrauskaite, R. Jeva Simonaitytė. Vilnius, 1968.
B. I. ZALESSKAIA