‘The book’s sensual details have a relentless, offhand naturalness and authenticity… This work richly deserves the EU Prize for Literature, which it won… Laura Černiauskaitė could be a major talent of this generation.’
— World Literature Today

Breathing into Marble

Laura Sintija Cerniauskaite

Translated from Lithuanian by Marija Marcinkute


Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature

When Isabel adopts a young orphan, she has no idea how dark the consequence will be.

Isabelle is married with a young epileptic son. Driven by a whim, she decides to adopt Ilya, despite the recommendations of specialists. Ilya is a troubled boy and the family quickly unravels under his malevolent influence.

Breathing into Marble is a poetic tale of love and violence, of art and relationships.

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Laura Sintija Cerniauskaite

Laura Sintija Černiauskaitė was born in Vilnius, Lithuania in 1972. She studied Lithuanian language and literature at Vilnius University and became a journalist and an editor of a children’s magazine. In 1993 she won the Lithuanian Writer’s Union First Book competition. She is also a playwright and her plays have won awards in Lithuania and Germany.

Breathing into Marble won the EU Prize for Literature in 2009.