June 1941. A quiet village in Central Lithuania awakes to the arrival of the Soviet Army. Young Algiukas’s family is given barely ten minutes to pack before being herded onto a crowded freight train bound for the snowy plains of Siberia. Leaving behind the fertile agricultural lands of rural village life, they are forced to adapt to living in these brutal new conditions. Whilst this life quickly becomes a battle for survival against hunger and the relentless cold, Algiukas learns to escape the daily rigours through the inventive power of his imagination, with the help of pencils, paper and a book of Japanese haiku poems.
Based on the true story of her father, writer Jurga Vilé, along with artist Lina Itagaki, offers an unforgettable tale of a childhood in exile. In the process, they shed light on one of the darkest periods of European history that, seen through a child’s eyes, underlines the courage of human endurance.
Siberian Haiku has won a number of European awards as well as becoming a best seller in Lithuania.