Is Ilze Jansone’s Insomnia the Latvian Well of Loneliness?

Kārlis Vērdiņš, Jānis Ozoliņš


The novel Insomnia by the young Latvian prose writer Ilze Jansone was the first contemporary Latvian novel dedicated to lesbian identity. It is productive to look at the questions raised in this novel in comparison to the well-known lesbian novel by the English author Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness, which caused considerable controversy at the time of its publication. These books have been written in different times and places, still there are some points that make Jansone’s approach similar to Hall’s: the presence of religion, the importance of the father figure (God the Father) and other issues of gender. Taking into account various queer theorists’ attempts to categorise Hall’s protagonist as a martyr, a masculine woman, a Christ-like person and in other ways in this paper we try to look for similarities between Hall’s and Jansone’s protagonists.


lesbians; female masculinity; homosexuality; Latvian novel; God the Father

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ISSN 1406-0701 (print)
ISSN 2228-4729 (online)