Gustav Herling-Grudziński, Inmate No. 1872, wrote his powerful indictment of the Soviet system of penal camps, the GULAG, not as a description of nations at war, but as a conflict between barbarism and civilization. First published in 1951, this book was quietly but intentionally suppressed for decades.
Patrice Dabrowski’s new history, written with her usual elegant style, refers to Poland with the pronoun “she” – but the Soviet-imposed regime as “it,” notes Nathan Wood, perhaps with a touch of disapproval. Now there’s a great discussion starter.
If you always wanted Poland to be just another normal European state, historian Brian Porter-Szűcs says that’s exactly what it is. That is good news, though Michał Kasprzak thinks it may dampen dinner conversations at festive tables.
Compared to Keats, Marcel Proust, and even to “Bob Dylan, William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda and James Dean rolled into one,” Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński was passionate, erotic, heroic, idealistic and incomparably prolific. His life and his art were one, his death made him legend.
The Color of Courage: The war took away his childhood, and indelibly etched his memories on his mind. While in The Polish Experience through World War II: A Better Day Has Not Come, master weaver Aleksandra Ziołkowska-Boehm presents a tapestry of wartime experiences.
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.
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.”
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.
A many layered story about the sentimental education of an American student in post-war Europe told with wit, sensitivity and elegance.