Julija Šukys is an assistant professor of creative writing at the Department of English at the University of Missouri–Columbia. She is the author of Silence Is Death: The Life and Work of Tahar Djaout (Nebraska, 2007) and Epistolophilia: Writing the Life of Ona Šimaitė (Nebraska, 2012).
Originally published on julijasukys.com.
A Street Named for Ona Šimaitė in Her Beloved City of Vilnius
I woke up this morning to the news that a street had been named for Ona Šimaitė, the subject of my second book, Epistolophilia. Šimaitė was a librarian, a feminist, a deep thinker, an obsessive letter writer, and a Holocaust rescuer. She loved Vilnius and its people, books, libraries, churches, theatres and markets. No doubt, the knowledge that one of its streets now bears her name would have moved her deeply. She didn’t believe in riches (she was a hardcore leftist who didn’t even believe in owning property!), but she loved words and had a deep reverence for humane gestures like this one. I think she would have approved.
I thank all those who have worked quietly (or not so quietly) to have her honored this way. I can’t wait to walk the street myself.