Books

Beautiful Twentysomethings
2014 Vol. 6 No. 1 / Books

Beautiful Twentysomethings

Described by Roman Polanski as a troublemaker of immense charm, author Marek Hłasko looked like James Dean… but he was not a rebel without a cause.

Poland’s Daughter: How I Met Basia, Hitchhiked to Italy and Learned About Love, War and Exile
2014 Vol. 6 No. 1 / Books

Poland’s Daughter: How I Met Basia, Hitchhiked to Italy and Learned About Love, War and Exile

A many layered story about the sentimental education of an American student in post-war Europe told with wit, sensitivity and elegance.

Witold Szabłowski in Turkey
2014 Vol. 6 No. 1 / Books

The Assassin from Apricot City: Reportage from Turkey

(…) Every Turk hovers between tradition and modernity a thousand times a day – the hat or the charshaf [veil]; the mosque or the disco; the European Union or dislike the European Union. Until you can explore this country, writes Katarzyna Zwolak, read Witold Szablowski’s wonderful book.

Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising
2014 Vol. 6 No. 1 / Books

Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising

With access to hitherto unused archives, historian Alexandra Richie brings little-known facts and a sobering description of the barbaric destruction of the people and the city of Warsaw.

The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of One of Britain’s Bravest Heroines
2013 Vol. 5 No. 3 / Books

The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of One of Britain’s Bravest Heroines

Britain’s most spectacular secret agent was brave, loyal, irresistibly beautiful, and “a law unto herself.” Author Clare Mulley pens an excellent study of the fascinating Krystyna Skarbek/Christine Granville.

Melchior Wańkowicz – Poland’s Master of the Written Word
2013 Vol. 5 No. 3 / Books

Melchior Wańkowicz – Poland’s Master of the Written Word

The trial of Melchior Wańkowicz in 1960s communist Poland was a cause célèbre. Today, a new biography brings a captivating portrait of a “great humanist with a pragmatic approach to life, a prolific hard working writer, bon vivant, thinker, husband, father and most of all a fabulous reporter and storyteller.”

As I Recall: Fireflies in the Night
2013 Vol. 5 No. 3 / Books

As I Recall: Fireflies in the Night

Mark and Sharon Duffield remember the fireflies that illuminated their childhood; Monika Zofia Pauli’s illustrations illuminate their book.

Good Blood, Bad Blood
2013 Vol. 5 No. 3 / Books

Good Blood, Bad Blood

Eugenics: misguided or malevolent? Vince Chesney reviews a book about a period in American history when human engineering was a seductive pseudoscience.

Inhumanities: Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture
2013 Vol. 5 No. 3 / Books

Inhumanities: Nazi Interpretations of Western Culture

Before totalitarianism enforces its orders with boots and guns, it needs an intellectual framework. Stephen Drapaka reviews Inhumanities, a book that details the all too willing enthusiastic work of academics, journalists and other professionals in building this sordid enterprise.

Second Homeland: Polish Refugees in India
2013 Vol. 5 No. 2 / Books

Second Homeland: Polish Refugees in India

Anuradaha Bhattacharjee turned a rejected newspaper story into a PhD thesis and a book. And what a story: orphaned children, a loving maharaja, an inspiring Gandhi, and the kindness of strangers.

The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe
2013 Vol. 5 No. 2 / Books

The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe

“Can we make the past okay?” Michal Kasprzak weighs in on Marci Shore’s journey into the world of no innocent choices.

Bogusław Schaeffer: An Anthology
2013 Vol. 5 No. 2 / Books

Bogusław Schaeffer: An Anthology

A great artist in the tradition of Schulz, Wyspiański and Witkiewicz, Bogusław Schaeffer and his work are ubiquitous in Poland. And should be better known beyond. Magda Romanska is helping do that with her translation of three of his works, reviewed here by Alena Aniskiewicz.

Polska Dotty
2013 Vol. 5 No. 2 / Books

Polska Dotty

Here’s a writer you’ll immediately want to invite for dinner. Along with his charming father. And there, over great Polish food, you can tell him what you like, and don’t like, about his book.

Vera Gran: The Accused
2013 Vol. 5 No. 2 / Books

Vera Gran: The Accused

When Isaac Bashevis Singer said fate “is a trap we set for ourselves,” surely he wasn’t thinking of the Warsaw Ghetto. Two reviewers take issue with Agata Tuszynska’s biography of Vera Gran.

From a Polish Country House Kitchen
2013 Vol. 5 No. 2 / Books

From a Polish Country House Kitchen

Attention all foodies: Polish food is fresh, lively and delicious. Reviewer Pierre Gratton dismisses stale opinions. A French conspiracy, he suspects, ably put down by Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden.

Polish Classic Desserts
2013 Vol. 5 No. 2 / Books

Polish Classic Desserts

Justine Jablonska tests and tastes the rich dessert fare of Poland presented in Polish Classic Desserts and declares them: Heaven! She has a few quibbles, though, with some editorial content.