Books

A World Apart
2015 Vol. 7 No. 1 — Spring / Books

A World Apart

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.

Poland: The First Thousand Years
2015 Vol. 7 No. 1 — Spring / Books

Poland: The First Thousand Years

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.

Stanisław Barańczak, PHOTO: Elżbieta Lempp
VIA: Culture.pl
Books

In Memoriam: Stanisław Barańczak

A much loved, gifted and extraordinarily talented activist and translator, his translations of Polish poetry to English are a joy, and those from English to Polish are a monumental achievement, ranging from almost all of Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss.

Chatting with Greg Archer
2015 Vol. 7 No. 1 — Spring / Books / Interviews

Chatting with Greg Archer

Justine Jablonska catches Greg Archer in a serious moment, and the conversation ranges from Cyndi Lauper and Ewan McGregor to his indomitable family and the after-effects of war.

Greg Archer’s Grace Revealed
2015 Vol. 7 No. 1 — Spring / Books

Greg Archer’s Grace Revealed

Fast-paced, sometimes self-indulgent but at times furiously funny, Greg Archer looks at his family’s traumatic experience in the Soviet gulag after years of running away from it.

Stuart Dybek: Writing Chicago, Memory, and Dreams
2014 Vol. 6 No. 3 — Fall-Winter / Books

Stuart Dybek: Writing Chicago, Memory, and Dreams

A poetic Babuszka: No word in English turns/a scarf into a grandmother

Poland in the Modern World: Beyond Martyrdom
2014 Vol. 6 No. 3 — Fall-Winter / Books

Poland in the Modern World: Beyond Martyrdom

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.

The Passion of Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński
2014 Vol. 6 No. 3 — Fall-Winter / Books / Commentary

The Passion of Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński

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.

Books in Brief: Fall 2014
2014 Vol. 6 No. 3 — Fall-Winter / Books

Books in Brief: Fall 2014

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.

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

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.

Diary: Witold Gombrowicz
2014 Vol. 6 No. 2 — Summer / 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 — Summer / 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 — Summer / 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.

A Conversation with Eva Stachniak
2014 Vol. 6 No. 2 — Summer / Books / Interviews

A Conversation with Eva Stachniak

Whether Empress Catherine was “Great” or not is debatable, but she was definitely pragmatic, as are all imperial rulers. Justine Jablonska talks to Eva Stachniak about her latest book and how she chooses her subjects.

Beautiful Twentysomethings
2014 Vol. 6 No. 1 — Winter-Spring / 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 — Winter-Spring / 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.