pierre j mejlak
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01. Qed Nistenniek Niezla max-Xita
02. Dak li l-Lejl Ihallik Tghid
03. Having Said Goodnight

01. Rih Isfel

01. Trab Abjad
02. Meta Nstabu l-Angli

01. Stejjer mill-Bibbja
02. Enciklopedija ghat-Tfal
03. L-Istorja ta' Gesu'
04. Il-Leggenda ta' San Gorg u d-Dragun

01. Gojjin 7
02. Gojjin 8
03. Senduq Kuluri Orangjo
04. Senduq Buffuri Orangjo
05. Senduq Buffuri Vjola
06. Senduq Kuluri Ahmar
07. Senduq Buffuri Ahmar
08. Kalejdoskopju 5
09. Kalejdoskopju 6
10. Storie
11. Kalejdoskopju 3
12. Kieku l-Ikel Jitkellem
13. Kalejdoskopju 4
14. 45
15. 1.mt
16. Spaces | spazji
17. Intangible Cultural Heritage & Memory
18. Little White Lies
19. Storie (2)
20. A Sea of Words
21. Bejn Haltejn
22. 3.mt
23. Koraci
24. A Printed Thing
25. Hbieb tal-Qalb
26. Literature in Translation
27. 4.mt
28. Trag 33
29. Avangrad
30. Arja Friska
31. EU Prize for Literature
32. Il-Malti
33. Flash Fiction International

01. Rih Isfel




Having Said Goodnight
winner of the EU Prize for Literature

Buy online
Read sample: I went to see her
Waterstones' official launch pictures (Flickr)

In this captivating collection of stories, people are often at a crossroads, somewhere between a world they know and one they feel pulled towards. Torn between past and future, centre and periphery, real and imaginary, they move from one point in their existence to another, trying to understand a life they have lived but perhaps never fully comprehended.

A woman is overjoyed at the news her husband has been found dead. A crow breaks into a young couple's flat, smashing perceptions and assumptions, and a dying father sends his son on a journey to meet an old flame. A young boy builds friendships with burnt matchsticks and a widow makes her husband's manuscript her own.

From the heart of the Mediterranean comes a new and exciting storyteller, a keen observer and a great collector of people's moods.


"The is a book about storytelling, not only as a form of pleasure that is shared between writer and reader but more importantly as a gift that's given with love and needs love to be appreciated."
The European Union Prize for Literature Jury

"Beautifully crafted"
Meike Ziervogel, Peirene Press

"Mejlak's writing shows the short story genre at its best. He confirms his reputation as an author with a penetrating eye into the psyche and soul of fellow human beings, and does not shy away from exploring the darker side of human nature."
Teodor Reljic, MaltaToday

"Darker, intense, emotion-laden work that explores the power of memories and nostalgia."
The Malta Independent

"His best, most assured and sophisticated book yet."

Full review

When asked, during an interview, how he had hit upon the idea for his book The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco simply replied, "I felt like poisoning a monk." That, for the semiotics professor and author, was inspiration enough. If I had the chance, I would ask the same question to author Pierre J. Mejlak. What does he feed his imagination so that, in return, it fattens his mind with storylines and populates it with memorable characters? What does his trained eye see that we don't? And that most shallow, yet nagging, of questions – why does he write?

Maybe Mejlak writes to remember. After all, the stories in his latest collection, Having Said Goodnight, are spiked with memories, regret, closures from the past that the characters would like to change the ending to, and stories that are only recalled in hours of dire need. Mejlak sees a story in everyone. Underneath our costumes and routines, we all have a story, a tragedy that ends in laughter, a joke that ends in tears. And the author's role is to read us in degree zero, and then fill in the blanks between our thoughts and limbs. Mejlak finds clues – a twitch or look here, a mannerism there – and follows them until he has the whole story.

Such clues enrich Mejlak's stories with intricate detail. Indeed, the author relishes minutiae – small, eavesdropping details that tell big truths. In The Ambassador, it is the ambassador's choice of perfume that first outlines, and then colours her in, in all her layers and complexities. And in Coup d’Etat, the protagonist recalls his former girlfriend's mole on her shoulders, and on that dissects a whole anatomy of loss.

Back to my original question, maybe Mejlak writes because he wants to forget. To forget how, despite living in the age of man, the world goes on without us. As the widow in the Prologue listens while the conversation during her husband's funeral moves to surface realities, she realises how dispensable everyone is and how, despite what we think, when we die, life, in all its triviality and importance, still goes on.
But maybe, Mejlak writes because he simply wants to write. He wants to travel on a flying carpet of words, from Spain in I Went to See Her and Malawi in Coup d’État to a war torn country in The Girl with the Rubik’s Cube and, of course, Gozo. And Mejlak wants to find joy in writing; the joy of beautiful metaphors. And, as in Núria Àngels Barrera, Mejlak wants to taste the joy of writing as a secret pursuit, an act of protest, of love, of revenge.

Stanley Borg, The Times


              ©2006 Pierre J Mejlak. Site by: briangrech