The aim of Noir Press is to introduce the most exciting new Lithuanian writing to an English reading audience.
Lithuanian is spoken by around three and a half million people in the world. It is an archaic language and retains many features of Proto-Indo-European now lost in other Indo-European languages.
As a literary language, however, it's history is more recent.
The first Lithuanian text was a catechism printed in 1547, and most texts written in Lithuanian prior to the 18th century were religious.
One of the most important early secular texts was The Seasons, a poem by Donelaitis; poetry has continued to be a dominating force in the country's literary output.
During the long years of Soviet oppression of the country, Lithuanian fiction continued to be published both in Lithuania and among the community in exile, mainly in America with writers like Antanas Skema, whose most famous novel was 'The White Shroud'.
In the late twentieth century there was something of a renaissance in Lithuanian fiction with celebrated writers like Jurga Ivanauskaite, Ricardas Gavelis and Jurgis Kuncinas.
Today there is a wide and healthy literary scene in Lithuania, with a number of prominent writers who are being translated into other European languages. Unfortunately, not many of these writers are currently being translated into English and so the Lithuanian fiction scene is almost completely unknown to the English reader.
Noir Press seeks to remedy this by publishing some of the most interesting writing being produced by contemporary writers in Lithuanian.