Books

Krystyna Wituska: Her Life and Literary Afterlife
2014 Vol. 6 No. 2 / Books

Krystyna Wituska: Her Life and Literary Afterlife

The memorial Centre in the German city of Halle Saale will unveil a monument to Krystyna Wituska, a young Polish prisoner executed on June 26, 1944, and two German authors will launch their book, Zelle Nr. 18: Eine Geschichte von Mut und Freundschaft (Cell No. 18: a History of bravery and friendship) to mark the 70th anniversary of her death.

Pola Negri: Hollywood’s First Femme Fatale
2014 Vol. 6 No. 2 / Books

Pola Negri: Hollywood’s First Femme Fatale

Hollywood has been a talent magnet for a long time and one of the first superstars was Poland’s Pola Negri. Justine Jablonska reviews her story, written by Mariusz Kotowski.

PHOTO: Lara Szypszak
Books

One Summer as a Gallery Girl in Warsaw

Lara Szypszak, who got to know Lublin by studying there, got to know Warsaw by working there, at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art where the staff adopted her and introduced her to their extended family of galleries, performers and offbeat places to eat, party, or just sit around and talk.

Diary: Witold Gombrowicz
2014 Vol. 6 No. 2 / Books

Diary: Witold Gombrowicz

A thinker, a genius, a cultural demonologist, Gombrowicz engages manipulates his reader in a game. Łukasz Wodzyński would welcome another round.

(A)pollonia: Twenty-First-Century Polish Drama and Texts for the Stage
2014 Vol. 6 No. 2 / Books

(A)pollonia: Twenty-First-Century Polish Drama and Texts for the Stage

This anthology of new Polish plays was published in English with an ambitious goal: to connect with the universal “everyman.” Will Harrington casts an American eye on the proceedings and says, “Yes, they resonate.”

Between Fire and Sleep: Essays On Modern Polish Poetry and Prose
2014 Vol. 6 No. 2 / Books / Poetry

Between Fire and Sleep: Essays On Modern Polish Poetry and Prose

Jaroslaw Anders’ book is at once a “farewell…to a certain way of reading” and “one of the best introductions to twentieth-century Polish literature.” Łukasz Wodzyński reviews.

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.