Acclaimed Latvian writer Alberts Bels passes away

On June 11, Alberts Bels (1938-2024), regarded as one of the most brilliant Latvian writers of the 20th century, passed away, his relatives announced.

Alberts Bels was born Jānis Cīrulis on October 6, 1938, in Ropaži parish. Later in life (officially in 1971) he adopted the pseudonym Alberts Bels.

The contribution of Alberts Bels to literature was truly significant. His best-known novels are The Cage (Būris), Insomnia (Bezmiegs) and People in Boats (Cilvēki laivās). In his 1967 novel "Insomnia", Albert Bell criticized the Soviet system and was prosecuted. The novel was published in a censored version in 1987, and in an uncensored version only in 2003. Several novels have been made into films.

36 years ago, on November 11 1988, the Latvian flag was hoisted for the first time after the years of Soviet occupation in the Holy Spirit Tower of Riga Castle. Alberts Bels and actor Ēvalds Valters were the ones hoisting the flag. 

In 1990, Alberts Bels was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the LSSR (1990-1993) and on May 4 voted in favor of the Declaration on the Restoration of Latvia's Independence.

He has received a number of awards and honors, most recently in 2023 he was awarded the President's Certificate of Appreciation and the Cabinet of Ministers Award for outstanding contribution to Latvian literature and for his contribution to the restoration of Latvia's independence.

Our condolences to all who knew Alberts Bels and his works.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important