Maja Trochimczyk has gathered together poems to commemorate Chopin’s 200th birthday – and they’re as inspiring as they are exhilarating.
Anyone who’s ever read memoirs written during or immediately after the war knows how very different they are from those written many years later. The writing is vivid, unembellished, adrenalin charged. Memories have not yet faded, been tampered with. There is no editorializing. War is an experience unlike any other. Nobody comes out of it unchanged. When these experiences are recorded by gifted writers – and Rulka Langer certainly was that — they are at once harrowing, inspiring and breathtaking.
A great cover and a good review are often enough to get someone interested in a book, but it is not often that the book leads to curiosity about the publisher. Yet that is exactly what The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt did. Who published this beautiful book? Aquila Polonica? A new publishing house dedicated to the Polish World War II story? Who are they, and why this focus?
An interview with Joanna Czechowska in The Guardian sparked CR’s instant interest in her book, The Black Madonna of Derby. Although her mother was English, Czechowska was raised in her father’s Polish community, complete with Saturday schools, scout groups and dances in the Polish Hall. Since her mother worked, Czechowska was raised by her adored and adoring Polish grandmother, who spoke several languages but none of them English.
From Barcelona comes a vibrant, moving account of hope and resilience in the form of a visually stimulating, richly illustrated book: Poles in Barcelona and Their Stories: How the City Welcomed Polish Children Stolen by the Nazis (1946-1956).
Someone once joked that the best thing about reading Reviews is that you can discuss the books at dinner parties without actually having to read them. Well, if you read the very best of the Reviews there is an element of truth in that, though do bear in mind that not all Reviews are created equal.
Katyń: A Crime Without Punishment is the latest volume in “The Annals of Communism” series published by Yale University Press. Rightly described as the most important publishing project currently in progress in the United States, it documents the 70-year reign of terror that began with the Communist revolution in Russia and has been largely ignored by western intellectuals – when not actively indulged by them.
From Ohio University Press:
• Two Novellas of Emigration and Exile by Danuta Mostwin
• The Exile Mission: The Polish Political Diaspora and Polish Americans, 1939–1956 by Anna D. Jaroszynska-Kirchmann
• Traitors and True Poles by Karen Majewski
Peasant Prince provides a readable, in-depth biography of Kościuszko, from boyhood to death, and is recommended to anyone with a love for history and a penchant for freedom.
An intriguing and refreshing take on the Solidarity movement that establishes women as equal partners in the struggle against Communism.