Polish Book Club

in Seattle

 

Po polsku

 

Home

About us

History

Photos

Book reviews

Links

 

.

I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage.

Charles De Secondat

Our first meeting was on November 1, 2003 at Bellevue Regional Library in Bellevue. Nowadays most frequently we meet at the Green Lake Library in Seattle, although we sometimes meet on the Eastside

Our next meeting

(#116)

 

 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

at 11 am

 at the Green Lake Library, Seattle

 

Natalia Fiedorczuk-Cieślak

"Jak pokochac centra handlowe"

 

Drawing: Renia reading, Wojciech Weiss, 1910

 

 

 

 

We always invite new members - drop by even without reading the current book!

Please note that Polish is the language of our meetings.

This event is not sponsored by The Seattle Public Library or King County Library System.


#116 - June 24, 2017, 2 pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"jak pokochać centra handlowe", Natalia Fiedorczuk-Cieślak

The book for the meeting is jak pokochać centra handlowe by Natalia Fiedorczuk-Cieślak, published by Wyd. Wielka Litera in 2016. The author is a singer, instrumentalist, songwriter and photographer. The book discusses frankly the issues of motherhood and postnatal depression and won the Polityka Passport Award in 2016.

Natalia

Fiedorczuk-Cieślak

#115 - May 27, 2017, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Portret młodej wenecjanki", Jerzy Pilch

The book for the meeting is Portret młodej Wenecjanki by Jerzy Pilch, published by Wyd. Literackie in 2017. Mr. Pilch, 65, is one of the best known contemporary Polish writers. Portret is typical Pilch, mixing styles and moods with an acerbic language, applied to turbulent relationship of an elder man with a beautiful young woman.

Jerzy Pilch

#114 - April 29, 2017, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Skoruń", Maciej Płaza

The book is about coming of age of a country boy in 1980s Poland shown through seven different stories narrated by the title hero. The book won the Kościelski award and the Gdynia Literature award and was nominated to the Nike awards. This is an open meeting, drop by even if you haven't read the book.

Maciej Płaza

#113 - February 25, 2017, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Montlake Library

"Powrót niedoskonały", Marcin Bruczkowski (once again)

A satirical book about Polish contemporary society as seen from a "Japanese" perspective. The narrator is a Polish designer who left Poland as a student and then spent eighteen years in Japan and Singapore before returning to the old country. No wonder all sort of things are strange to him.

Marcin Bruczkowski

#112 - January 21, 2017, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Powrót niedoskonały", Marcin Bruczkowski

A satirical book about Polish contemporary society as seen from a "Japanese" perspective. The narrator is a Polish designer who left Poland as a student and then spent eighteen years in Japan and Singapore before returning to the old country. No wonder all sort of things are strange to him.

Marcin Bruczkowski

#111 - November 26, 2016, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Uprawa roślin południowych metodą Miczurina", Weronika Murek

This a collection of short stories breaking all sort of conventions, norms and taboos. It's a debut, but what a debut it is: the book has already won the Gombrowicz award for the best debut of the year and has been nominated to the top 2016 Polish literary awards: the Nike, the Polityka Passport and  the Gdynia Literature.

Weronika Murek

#110 - October 22, 2016, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Stryjeńska. Diabli nadali", Angelika Kuźniak

This is a biography of Zofia Stryjeńska (1891-1976), Polish painter, graphic designer, illustrator and stage designer, notable for her works in art deco style. The book was nominated to the 2016 Nike  award in Poland.

Angelika Kuźniak

#109 - June 18, 2016, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Nic zwyczajnego. O Wisławie Szymborskiej", Michał Rusinek

Mr. Rusinek was Ms. Szymborska's secretery for 15 years; he is also a translator and author of several children books. Nic zwyczajnego is his personal take at a biography of the famous poetess and Nobel prize winner with whom he enjoyed a great rapport.

 Michał Rusinek

#108 - April 16, 2016, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Angole", Ewa Winnicka

Angole is a collection of interviews with Poles living in Great Britain - why they came, why they stay, how they are doing. The book was a finalist to the 2015 Nike  award in Poland.

 Ewa Winnicka

#108 March 5 marca, 2016, 11am-1pm, conference room at the Polish Cultural Center  Dom Polski

 

It was an open meeting for new mwmbers. The Club welcomes everybody who is interesting in reading and discussing Polish books!  
#106 - January 23, 2016, 11am-1pm, meeting  room, Redmond Regional Library

"Inna dusza", Łukasz Orbitowski

A jolting novel based on a gruesome and cold blooded crime that had shaken Poland a few years back. The author draws a psychological portrait of the teenage murderer showing us our helplessness in understanding what is the nature of evil .

 Łukasz Orbitowski

#105 - November 21, 2015, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Prawiek i inne czasy",  Olga Tokarczuk

Arguably the most famous and most popular book by Tokarczuk, that brought her a deserved recognition in Poland and abroad.

"Podgląd", Marcin Podolec & Daniel Chmielewski

A graphic book that achieved a rare feat of breaking out of a readership niche to be noticed and discussed by the mainstream readers in Poland.

 Olga Tokarczuk

#104 - September 12, 2015, 11am-1pm,  meeting  room, Green Lake Library

"Jasnowidz w salonie",  Paulina Sołowaniuk

The interwar period in Poland had also its mysterious, metaphysical currents whose most famous representative was Stefan Ossowiecki . Recalling spirits , divination , fortune-telling attracted both politicians, artists and scholars, as well as simple people

 Paulina Sołowaniuk

#103- June 27, 2015, 1pm-3pm, Redmond Regional library, meeting room

"Nieważkość" Julia Fiedorczuk, 2015

Fiedorczuk, 40, is a poet, writer as well as a literary critic and translator, she works at the Warsaw University. Niewazkosc describes a day in life of three vwomen who grew up in a small town and now live very different life in Warsa

 

Julia Fiedorczuk

#102- April  18, 2015, 10am-11:30, Redmond Regional library, meeting room

"Najgorszy człowiek na świecie" Małgorzata Halber, Znak 2015

Ms. Halber, 36, is a controversial TV presenter, journalist, columnist and blogger, graphic designer with her own cartoon and a graduate of the Philosophy Dept of the Warsaw University. The book is her first novel that is praised for frankness in depicting a successful business woman who is a recovering alcoholic and drug user.

 

Małgorzata Halber

 

 

#101- March  21, 2015, 1pm-3pm, Redmond Regional library, conference room

Paweł Huelle, "Śpiewaj ogrody", Znak, 2014

The book for the meeting is Spiewaj ogrody by Pawel Huelle, published by Znak in 2014. Huelle  is a renown contemporary writer and activist, known for his Gdansk roots since his famous debut and movie Who was David Weiser? Spiewaj ogrody is a reminiscing story about multiethnic world that used to exist in Gdansk and its echoes today.

 

Paweł Huelle

#100- February  21, 2015, 11am-12:30pm, Green Lake library, Seattle

"Gniew", Zygmunt Miłoszewski, W.A.B, 2014 

Miloszewski, 38, started as a fantasy writer but made his name as an author of a series of three crime novels about prosecutor Szacki. The first two books won the Best Polish Crime Novel awards in 2007 and 2011, respectively, and have been translated to English.  Gniew is the third and closing book of the series and is already nominated.

Zygmunt Miłoszewski

 

#99 - January  24, 2015, 10am-noon, Kirkland Public Library, Kirkland

 Ignacy Karpowicz. "Ości", Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2014.

Karpowicz, 38, is a novelist and a translator. his three previous books were nominated to top Polish literary awards, and the last one one the Polityka Paszport in 2013.

 

Ignacy Karpowicz

#98 - November 22,  2014, 11am-1pm,  Green Lake Library Seattle

Karol Modzelewski. "Zajeździmy kobyłę historii. Wyznania poobijanego jeźdźca", Iskry, 2013.

Modzelewski, 77, a professor of medieval history and a senator in free Poland, was a dissident (of the Kuron and Modzelewski fame) and a Solidarity activist who spent years in communists prisons. The book that won the 2014 Nike Award is a fascinating personal and political memoir that spotlights the most important political events in Poland from 1956 to 2000 with incisive insights.

 

Karol Modzelewski

#97 - October 25,  2014, noon,  Sebi's Bistro Seattle

"Bukareszt. Krew i kurz" Małgorzata Rejmer, Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2013

Rejmer, 29, is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Culture of the Warsaw University. Her first book Toksymia was discussed at the club last year. She has also published poems and short stories. The book is the author's take on the contemporary capital of Romania as well as modern history of the country.

Małgorzata Rejmer

#96 - June 28 26,  2014, 2pm, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Adam Mickiewicz. Życie romantyka." Roman Koropeckyj, W.A.B. 2014

Adam Mickiewicz (1798–1855), Poland's national poet, was one of the extraordinary personalities of the age. In chronicling the events of his life—his travels, numerous loves, a troubled marriage, years spent as a member of a heterodox religious sect, and friendships with such luminaries of the time as Aleksandr Pushkin, James Fenimore Cooper, George Sand, Giuseppe Mazzini, Margaret Fuller, and Aleksandr Herzen—Roman Koropeckyj draws a portrait of the Polish poet as a quintessential European Romantic. More...

Roman Koropeckyj

#95 - April 26,  2014, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

Andrzej Bart, "Bezdech", W.A.B., 2013

A famous Polish director, who’s been working for the last twenty years in the United States, is in a car accident. Suspended between life and death, he returns, delirious, to his country to do what we all hope we’ll have time to do. He wants to apologize and to express thanks but he also wants to take revenge

Andrzej Bart

#94 - March 29,  2014, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Ciemno, prawie noc", Joanna Bator, W.A.B., 2012

Bator, 32, is a scholar and philosopher as well as an essayist and writer. The novel is a slowly unfolding crime story with the child abuse theme drawing the reader in with a mixture of realistic & magical depictions of the author’s native Walbrzych & Ksiaz in Silesia. The book has won the 2013 Nike Award, i.e. the best book in Poland.

 "Ostatnie rozdanie" Wiesław Myśliwski, Znak, 2013

Mr. Mysliwski, a writer and playwright, was the first recipient of the prestigious Polish literary award, Nike in 1997, which he received for Widnokrag (The Horizon). He won again in 2006 with his Traktat o luskaniu fasoli (A Treatise on Shelling Beans).

#93 - January 25,  2014, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Aleja Samobójców", Marek Krajewski, Mariusz Czubaj, W.A.B., 2008

Mr. Krajewski had a very successful series of books based on Wroclaw. The book is a contemporary crime novel set in Gdansk in 2006.

Marek Krajewski

Mariusz Czubaj

 

#92 - November 23,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Cygan to Cygan", Lidia Ostałowska,  Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2012

Ostalowska, 59, is very accomplished reporter, with focusing on people living on margin of the society. The book paints a portrait of the Roma communities, personalities and fates across Central Eastern Europe.

Lidia Ostałowska

#91 - October 26,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Morfina", Szczepan Twardoch, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2012

Morfina tells a story of a German-Polish aristocrat who faced with hard choices of WWII conflict between Germany and Poland does not really want to choose any side preferring his morphine shots and womanizing. The book was nominated the Paszport Polityki awards in 2012. Twardoch, 34, is a Silesian author who published several novels and short stories. Nominated to Nike Literary Award, 2013. Won Readers Choice Nike 2013

Szczepan Twardoch

#90 - September 28,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Nielegalni", Vincent V. Severski, Wydawnictwo Czarna Owca,  2011

Nielegalni is a gripping spy novel set in current Poland, Sweden, Russia & Ukraine with some historical events and characters included in the plot. Severski is apparently a nom-de-plume of a very successful and now retired Polish counter-intelligence officer and spy. According to Wikipedia, among his military decorations is Legion of Merit awarded by President Obama.

 

Vincent V. Severski

 

#89 - June 22,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Miedzianka", Filip Springer, Wydawnictwo "Czarne", 2011

 Miedzianka is a very well written and moving story of a copper mountain and the town of the same name in Silesia that vanished after 700 years. Springer is a reporter and photographer publishing in the Polish weekly Polityka. His book was nominated to the 2011 Kapuscinski award and the 2012 Nike award.

Filip Springer

#88 - April 13,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Toksymia", Małgorzata Rejmer, Lampa i Iskra Boża, 2011

 Toksymia is a grotesque set in contemporary Warsaw. The dust cover by K. Varga praises its language run amok and its black humor. Rejmer, 28, is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Culture, Warsaw University. She published poems and short stories, this is her first novel.

Małgorzata Rejmer

#87 - April 13,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Noc żywych Żydów",  Igor Ostachowicz,  W.A.B., 2012

Noc Zywych Zydow, connected by the critics to Night of the Living Dead and Quentin Tarantino's movies, is a novel brilliantly using irony and comedy describing the hero's dealing with Jewish ghosts showing up in contemporary Warsaw. Ostachowicz is an advisor to the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, and has also a classic horror novel to his name.

 

Igor Ostachowicz

 

#86 - March 16,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Na krótko", Inga Iwasiów, Wielka Litera, 2012

"Na krotko" is a surprise for Iwasiow as the action happens in a nearby future in non-existent European country, albeit one with Polish roots. Iwasiow is a contemporary writer, a poet and a professor of literature at the Szczecin University.

Inga Iwasiów

 

 

#85 - February 17,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Mój wiek", Aleksander Wat, Universitats, 2012

Aleksander Wat (1900-1967), was a Polish poet, journalist, literary editor and essayist. The book, first published in 1977, is a memoir based on a series of Wat's conversations with Czeslaw Milosz, who also edited the text. It has become famous for its analysis of the communist system by one of its adherents turned victim.

 

Aleksander Wat

#84 - January 19,  2013, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Dziennik", Jerzy Pilch, Wydawnictwo Wielka Litera, 2012 

Pilch, 60, is one of the best Polish contemporary authors. His book Pod mocnym aniolem won the Nike in 2001. The book has been praised as a memoir that omits the mundane, reads well and covers all sort of topics in an interesting way.

 

Jerzy Pilch

 

#83 - November 17,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Droga Pani Schubert", Ewa Lipska, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2012

Ms. Lipska is a contemporary poetess and the book is her latest volume of poems written in form of poetic letters.

 

Ewa Lipska

 

#82 - October 27,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

Włoskie szpilki", Magdalena Tulli, Universitats, 2012

Polish writer and translator. Born on the 20th of October 1955 in Warsaw. Nominated three times for Poland's Nike literary prize and the 2012 Best Translated Book Award in the US.
 Magdalena Tulli is one of Poland's most interesting contemporary writers of fiction. Her rather difficult prose has been termed by some as post-modern (her influences include Italo Calvino) and she isn't among the most widely read authors, however she remains highly respected by critics. This is corroborated by the three nominations to Polish biggest literary prize Nike Book Award. More...

Magdalena Tulli

#81 - September 22,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

Mariusz Urbanek, "Broniewski", Iskry, 2011

Mariusz Urbanek is a journalist and an author of several books, including several biographies and documentaries. His book on Broniewski is hailed as the first book on the famous Polish poet that was properly researched. Iskry has also published a volume of Broniewski's poems selected and edited by Urbanek.

#80 - June 30,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

Danuta Wałęsa, "Marzenia i tajemnice",  Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2011

Ms. Walesa is the wife of the national hero and the former President of Poland, Lech Walesa. This frank memoir of a a strong woman who supported her famous husband and family while retaining her independence and ability to see things as they are has become a national bestseller that has resonated with a generation of Polish women.

#79 - May 19,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Mój znak. O noblistach, kabaretach, przyjaźniach, książkach, kobietach", Jerzy Illg, Wyd. Znak, 2009

Jerzy Illg - affiliated with the Znak publishing house since 1983, he has been editor-in-chief since 1992. Between 1990 and 1997 he co-edited the literary magazine NaGłos. He organised the international poetry festivals “Krakow Meetings of Poets” in 1997 and 2000, and in the years co-organised, with the University of Houston, international “Krakow Poetry Seminars” in the years 2002-2006. His publications includeKundera. Materiały z sympozjum (Kundera. Conference Proceedings, 1988 [editor]), Reszty nie trzeba. Rozmowy z Josifem Brodskim (Keep the Change. Conversations with Joseph Brodsky, 1993),„To miasto jest wszędzie”. Wiersze o Krakowie XX w.(“This City is Everywhere”. 20th-Century Poems on Krakow, 2001 [selection and introduction]),Wiersze z Marcówki (The Marcówka Poems, 2003) and Mój znak. O noblistach, kabaretach, przyjaźniach, książkach, kobietach (My Znak. On Nobelists, Revels, Friendships, Books and Women, 2009).

#78 - April 28,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

Skrwawione ziemie: Europa między Hitlerem a Stalinem" (Bloodlands), Timothy Snyder, "Świat Książki, 2011

Description
Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

About the Author
Timothy Snyder is Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of The Reconstruction of Nations, Sketches from a Secret War, and The Red Prince. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

#77- March 31,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"RockMann czyli jak nie zostalem saksofonistą", Wojciech Mann, Wydawnictwo Znak, 2011

 

Wojciech Mann is a very well know radio personality and a music critic who made his name at the program 3 of Polish Radio where he ran his own program.

#76- February 25,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Zrób sobie raj", Mariusz Szczygieł, Wołowiec, 2010

 

Unlike Gottland, which described the Czechs between 1882 and 2003, Make Your Own Paradise is first and foremost about the present day Czech Republic. It is the story of a nation which created culture as an antidepressant. The author is fascinated by Czech culture: a culture of joyful sorrow in which laughter serves as a mask for tragic helplessness. The reporter in Szczygieł is most fascinated by Czechs who do not believe in God. “What is life like without God?” – a question sometimes asked directly, sometimes hidden, is the refrain of this book – a mixture of personal diary, essay, feature and reportage. (more...)

#75 - January 28,  2012, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Miłość po polsku", Manuela Gretkowska, Wyd. Świat Książki, 2010

Gretkowska, is a contemporary writer, screenwriter and women lib activist in Poland with a background in psychology. The book is a novel about a Polish man and his marriage to a Swedish woman and his relations with her, his Swedish kids, and other women, but it also openly dispenses a marriage advice to the readers

 

#74 - November 19  2011, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Kontrkultura. Co nam z tamtych lat." Wojciech Burszta, Mariusz Czubaj, Marcin Rychlewski. Wydawnictwo SWPS Academica, 2005

 

This is a book of essays about phenomenon of counterculture in Polish society from after WWII till current time.

 

 

#73 - October 29  2011, 11am, Green Lake Library Seattle

The early 1960s post-Stalinist “spring” in Poland has Jerzyk, Pilch’s teen narrator, watching his retired civil-servant dad and his dad’s drinking buddy, Mr. Traba, an alcoholic and wannabe Pole insurrectionist. His mother’s focus is on corresponding with the bishop, while Jerzyk chases his first love. But there is no ignorning the mysterious comings and goings of the renters in the attic. The “morphinistes,” morphine abusers thought to be associates of the Antichrist, who carry an enormous crimson and gold blanket to the woodland for picnics, unnerve the puritanical locals. Especially Traba, who, drinking steadily, follows the morphinistes to the forest and spies a band of fearsome backwoods people, including social outsiders, fugitives, riffraff, and even writers and intellectuals. So begins his convoluted desire for a road trip to murder, as an act of salvation, the de facto Polish head of state, Wladyslaw Gomulka. A comic tale laden with lengthy discussions and brightened by a Christmas Eve miracle, Pilch’s novel is perhaps best for collections rich in Eastern European voices. --Whitney Scott (from Booklist)

Jerzy Pilch

 

 

#72  - September 24,  2011, 11am, Dom Polski, Seattle

The book is about Jerzy Kosinski, a famous and controversial Polish immigrant writer, the author of The Painted Bird. Glowacki, 72, is a playwright, novelist and screenwriter famous for his ironic take on culture and life in general and notably highlighting issues of emigration and identity. A long time New York City resident, he made a name for himself in the US with his play Antigone in New York. He currently lives in Poland.

Janusz Głowacki

#71  - June 25,  2011, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

The book for the meeting is Listy na wyczerpanym papierze, a collection of letters by Agnieszka Osiecka and Jeremi Przybora, published by Agora in 2010. Osiecka (d. 1997) was a poet & lyricist very popular in Poland due to her authoring lyrics to innumerable Polish hit songs. Jeremi Przybora (d. 2004) was also a lyricist, known for his collaboration with Jerzy Wassowski.

Agnieszka Osiecka

Jeremy Przybora

#70  - May 21,  2011, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

"Zniewolony umysł", Czesław Miłosz, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2009

The best known prose work by the winner of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Literature examines the moral and intellectual conflicts faced by men and women living under totalitarianism of the left or right.

Czesław Miłosz

#69 - April 30, 2011, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Agata Tuszyńska "Oskarżona: Wiera Gran", WL 2010

Amid horrific Nazi madness, Wiera Gran sang love songs in the Warsaw Ghetto. Within the walls of that grim urban cage, the 25-year-old petite Jewish beauty drew crowds to the ghetto’s Café Sztuka, crooning standards from happier times in a deep, velvety lilt. She died, many decades later, in 2007, in a Paris at peace, caged in her own filthy, darkened hovel, consumed with hatred, sick with fear. (more: Newsweek)

Agata Tuszyńska

#68 - March 19, 2011, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Joanna Bator "Piaskowa Góra", WAB, 2009

The Polish title of this novel, "Piaskowa Góra" – which means "Sandy Hill" – is the name of the prefabricated housing estate in Wałbrzych where the story is set. In the early 1970s a miner called Stefan Chmura and his wife Jadzia come to live in the biggest block of flats at Sandy Hill. In 1972 their daughter Dominika is born. The novel is a detailed account of the lives and fortunes of these characters, and of Stefan and Jadzia’s mothers (Dominika’s grandmothers, whose names are Halina and Zofia). (Dariusz Nowacki, more...)

Joanna Bator

#67 - February 26, 2011, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Janusz Rudnicki, "Śmierć czeskiego psa", WAB, 2009

Janusz Rudnicki (born 1956) is a political émigré who has lived in Hamburg since 1983, although he regularly publishes in Poland. "The Death of the Czech Dog" is his seventh volume of fiction.

Now and then I ask myself what it is that continues to draw me to Janusz Rudnicki’s work, when for years on end he has gone on writing in just the same way (mainly in a satirical vein) about exactly the same thing (largely about himself), though I’m not really all that fond of repetitive books… In my case, the main attraction is not so much his exquisite style, though he undoubtedly knows how to turn a phrase, is quite at ease in all sorts of registers of the Polish language and has an artful way of mixing sophisticated metaphors and crude expressions. Instead, what I like best is that he knows how to use the basic elements of his writing (satire, irony, humour, detachment and provocation) to create perfectly structured texts where every T is neatly crossed. (Robert Ostaszewski ... more)

Janusz Rudnicki

#66 - January 29, 2011, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Eustachy Rylski, "Na Grobli", Świat Książki, 2010

Rylski, 66, is a contemporary writer, playwright and screenwriter. The book about a famous writer in the People's Republic of Poland in 1970s (resembling Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz) is a treatise about good, evil and being honest. 

Eustachy Rylski

#65 - November 20, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Kazimierz Kutz, "Piąta strona świata", Wydawnictwo Znak,  2010  

Kutz, 81, is a famous Polish film director, theater director, screen-writer, writer and politician. He is also a member of the Parliament and a renown partisan for his beloved native Silesia. Piata strona .. is his debut as a novelist.

Kazimierz Kutz

#64 - October 30, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Inga Iwasiów "Ku słońcu", Świat Książki, 2010

Ku sloncu is a continuation of Bambino; the book is set in Szczecin, a big port city in northwest Poland and follows children of the Bambino characters.

Inga Iwasiów

#63 - September 18, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Maja Wolny"Kara", Proszyński 2009

About the author

"Kara" is a love story set on the E40 motorway, the East-West route, one of the longest routes in the world. Driving from Cracow to Brussels on the night of her thirtieth birthday, Kara - Karolina makes an evaluation of a kind: a balance of love, hate and betrayal, of everything she has experienced in the recent years, living in the East and in the West, loving two men from different cultures and discovering their secrets. It is an account of an emigration, a journey happening in time, space and in the characters′ minds.

Maja Wolny

Meeting the author, Inga Iwasiów,  September 11. 2010, 6:30 pm, Polish Home in Seattle

Inga Iwasiów is a writer, a poet, a literary critic and an editor as well as a professor of Polish literature at Univ. of Szczecin, Poland. Her interests include gender studies and she is a known feminist. Her book Bambino was nominated to the Nike award n 2009. Event was supported by the Polish Home Foundation.
#62 - August 28, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Michał Witkowski "Margot", Świat Książki, 2009

Michal Witkowski was born in 1975 and is the author of two books of short stories (Copyright, 2001; Fototapeta, 2006) and three novels (Lubiewo, 2005; Barbara Radziwiłłówna z Jaworzna-Szczakowej, 2007; Margot, 2009). In Margot the author dives deep into a subculture of international truck drivers and prostitutes who serve them.

Michał Witkowski

#61 - July 24, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Olga Tokarczuk, "Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych", 2009

The novel is written in the convention of a detective story with the main character telling the story. Janina Duszejko, an old, unattractive woman, eccentric in her perception of other humans through astrology, talks about  a series of deaths in a rural area, somewhere near Klodzko, in Poland. She explains the deaths as caused by wild animals in vengeance on hunters. The novel poses questions related with human responsibility for and to the nature and the dangers of personal mythology.

Olga Tokarczuk

 

#60 - June 26, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Krzysztof Varga "Gulasz z Turula", 2008

"Krzysztof is a Pole, Varga is a Hungarian. Together they acquaint us with the myths and realities of the Magyar history, show us around the backstreets and promenades of Budapest, sink into understanding the conscience and monuments of Hungarians, as well as their nostalgia. Painful for Magyars, fascinating for Poles, Krzysztof Varga’s essay about traumas and heroism of the nation, so close to Poles, yet still little known for them, is a way to understand Hungarians, whom we love, however do not know!”.
Tadeusz Olszański ... more...

Krzysztof Varga

#59 - May 29, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

David Laskin, The Long Way Home, Harper 2010

The United States has always been a nation of immigrants—never more so than in 1917 when the nation entered the First World War. Of the 2.5 million soldiers who fought with U.S. armed forces in the trenches of France and Belgium, some half a million—nearly one out of every five men—were immigrants. About the book

David Laskin

#58 - April 24, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Michał Olszewski "Chwalcie łąki umajone", Wyd. Czarne, 2005

A wonderful description of Polish reality as seen from a car, bus and train window. Of the frames from the world seen, of the conversations with people met on the way Olszewski builds a Polish landscape of the beginning of the twenty-first century - both geographical and mental. In Michal Olszewski`s lens all accepted divisions of Poland into A, B and C, into central and provincial Poland lose their significance: Olszewski reveals provincialism to be Poland`s core - in a good and bad meaning of the word. More...

Michał Olszewski

#57 - March 27, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Michał Komar, "Wtajemniczenia", 2007

Ms. E, an elderly lady, sharp-witted, educated "before the WWII" woman, lives with her servant and enjoys entertaining her guests at her Warsaw salon. She discusses philosophy, theatre, literature, art. Her cook/servant/interlocutor prepares the excellent dishes. This is the first novel by a well known literary critic Michal Komar - an erudite and (so it seems) a gourmet cook. "Wtajemniczenia"  is one tasty treat! Includes some rather elegant recipes.

 

Michał Komar

#56 - February 27, 2010, 11am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Andrzej Bart, "Rewers", W.A.B, 2009

"The Reverse: A Film Novella" is the author’s literary version of his own script which was made into a feature film under the same title by director Borys Lankosz. The plot is deceptively simple. The action takes place mainly in the Warsaw of 1952-53, but there are also a few contemporary scenes. Sabina, who is almost thirty and works as a poetry editor at one of Warsaw’s major publishing houses, lives with her mother and grandmother in a cramped flat full of mementos of pre-war grandeur. More...

"Reverse" - Official Film Website

 

Andrzej Bart

February 13, 2010, 2:15 pm, Green Lake Library, Seattle - Polish Poetry Reading - Kazimierz Poznanski - more information here
#55 - January 30, 2010, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Jacek Dukaj "Lód", Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2007

The story of the book takes place in an alternate universe where the First World War never occurred and Poland is still under Russian rule. Following the Tunguska event, the Ice, a mysterious form of matter, has covered parts of Siberia in Russia and started expanding outwards, reached Warsaw. The appearance of Ice results in extreme decrease of temperature, putting the whole continent under constant winter, and is accompanied by Lute, angels of Frost, a strange form of being which seems to be a native inhabitant of Ice. Under the influence of the Ice, iron turns into zimnazo (cold iron), a material with extraordinary physical properties, which results in the creation of a new branch of industry, zimnazo mining and processing, giving birth to large fortunes and new industrial empires. Moreover, the Ice freezes History and Philosophy, preserving the old political regime, affecting human psychology and changing the laws of logic from many-valued logic of "Summer" to two-valued logic of "Winter" with no intermediate steps between True and False.

Jacek Dukaj

#54- November 30, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Piotr Kraśko "Rok reportera", Księgarnia Św. Jacka, 2009

Krasko is a reporter working as an international correspondent from places such as Rwanda & Congo or New Orleans after Katrina. The book conveys impressions from these difficult assignments from 1996 to 2007.

 

Piotr Kraśko

#53 - October 21, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Inga Iwasiów, "Bambino", Świat książki, 2009

"Bambino" takes its title from a milk bar in Szczecin, formerly Stettin , which was well known in the years after World War II for its fast and (more importantly) affordable food. For this reason, many children are among its patrons - and the author, who also lives in Szczecin, tells their story. "Inga Iwsiow's novel is a psychological story of rootlessness in post-war Poland set in the city of Szczecin," says Pawel Szwed, Publishing Director at Świat Książki. "It is very truthful, and very mature from a literary point of view."

Inga Iwasiów

#52 - September 26, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Józef Hen, “Boy-Żeleński. Błazen - wielki mąż,” WAB,  2009

Jozef Hen, 87, is a Polish novelist, essayist and biographer. Tadeusz (Boy) Zelenski (1874-1941) was a famous cabaret writer, theater critic as well as publisher and translator whose translations of great French literature into Polish are still unsurpassed in the mastery of the art.

Józef Hen

#51 - August 29, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Józef Szczublewski , “Modrzejewska. Życie w odsłonach”, WAB, 2009

In the autumn of 1877 Modrzejewska embarked upon her first American tournče, appearing on the stages of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington and elsewhere.

"She is one of the great actresses of our times", wrote a reviewer of Philadelphia's "Public Ledger". "Calm and composure is her method. Not a touch of hysteria in the hottest explosions. She has a shocking power, made even greater by her allowing only a part of it to expose itself on the stage. A wonderfully expressive face. There is so much grace and truth in her movements and she expresses so much through her body that she would be able to clearly and accurately convey the movements of her thoughts through pantomime alone" (after Józef Szczublewski, "Zywot Modrzejewskiej", Warszawa 1975). More..

Helena Modrzejewska

#50 - July 18 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

“Bohater, spisek, śmierć. Wykłady żydowskie”, Maria Janion, WAB, 2009

Maria Janion is a very well known Polish writer, essayist and critic and a Professor of Literature at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Bohater ... discusses cultural roots of Polish perception of Jews and Jewish culture.

Maria Janion

#49 - May 18 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

PO ŚNIADANIU - Eustachy Rylski, Świat Książki, 2009

Po śniadaniu is a collection of seven intimate essays about literature - books and writers who fascinated the author. Eustachy Rylski is a contemporary writer, playwright and screenwriter.

Eustachy Rylski

#48 - April 25, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

FABRYKA MUCHOŁAPEK, Andrzej Bart, Wydawnictwo WAB, 2008

In September 1939 the Germans appointed Chaim Rumkowski President of the Łódź Judenrat. Rumkowski was a Jewish entrepreneur and an excellent administrator, who rapidly changed the poor, overpopulated Łódź ghetto into a perfectly, if inhumanly organised production zone. The President fought for the survival of the majority, so he always chose the “lesser evil”: when the Germans demanded an increase in production, he increased it; when they demanded that the sick be given up for transportation, he gave them up; when they demanded that he hand over children under the age of ten, he handed them over. He reckoned the Jews’ economic usefulness was their only bargaining chip, stronger than the Germans’ anti-Semitism and their plans for the Holocaust plans. More...

Andrzej Bart

 

#47 - March 28, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

BALZAKIANA, Jacek Dehnel, Wydawnictwo W.A.B, 2008

Balzakiana is a set of four stories based loosely on Balzak's works. Dehnel, 29, is an accomplished writer, poet, painter and TV personality; his work won such prestigious awards as the Koscielskis' (2005) and the Polityka Paszport (2006)

Jacek Dehnel

#46 - February 28, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

OSTATNI MAZUR, Andrew Tarnowski,  Wydawnictwo: W.A.B , 2008

Tarnowski has penned a stunning multigenerational family memoir, reaching back into the past to recount the vanished lifestyle of his grandparents, his parents' harrowing World War II experiences, and his own coming-of-age as a displaced person. The aristocratic Tarnowski family cut a wide swath through the semifeudal social fabric of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Poland. Landed gentry, they owned and operated a gracious agrarian estate that housed and fed relatives, servants, and numerous peasant families. But as World War II loomed, the extended clan began to unravel at a rapid speed. When Germany invaded Poland, the author's parents escaped via Romania and Palestine, setting into motion a tragic chain of events that foreshadowed the dissolution of both the family and their increasingly archaic way of life. Achingly beautiful and bittersweet, this intimate family chronicle reads like a novel.

Andrew Tarnowski

#45 - January 31, 2009, 10am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

Marcin Świetlicki, "Trzynaście", Wydawnictwo EMG 2007

The book is a gloomy story of crime and love over 13 days in May 2006.Marcin Swietlicki, "the most rebellious poet of his generation" published five books of poetry, winning many awards; his side line of crime novels has brought him praise both by critics and readers.

Marcin Świetlicki

#44 - November 29, 2008, 10am, Bellevue Regional Library

Krzysztof Varga, "Nagrobek z lastryko", 2008

Present-day 30-year-olds will become grandparents in the future. And their grandchildren, after many years, may also stare at a grandparents' photo from around 2005, just like the narrator of "Terrazzo Tombstone", the best novel written yet by Krzysztof Varga. It is as melancholic as the previous ones, but much more witty. Varga has written an inverse family saga. Consecutive generations in his novel instead of collecting memorabilia and cultivating traditions (like, for example, the characters of Dehnel's "Lala") live - as Varga says - for nothing.  More..

Krzysztof Varga

#43 - October 25, 2008, 10am, Kirkland Library

Maria Janion, "Niesamowita słowiańszczyzna", 2008

Maria Janion's essays are devoted to problems of Slavic identity and issues related to its development, such as visions of pagan Slavdom, Slavic aesthetics, mythology, and their functioning in the European awareness.

Analyzing cultural and literary trends, the author tries to find a place for Slavism in the awareness of today's Europe, and also to determine what in fact the Slavic identity is in its original and contemporary version - also in its renounced and rejected version. More...

Maria Janion

#42 - September 27, 2008, 10am, Green Lake Library

Manuela Gretkowska, "Obywatelka", 2008

The book is a diary of the writer going politician and establishing a feminist party before the 2007 election in Poland.

About the author: A novelist, she was born in Lodz in 1964. She graduated from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow with a degree in philosophy and went to Paris in 1988 to study medieval anthropology at the École des Hautes Études Sociales in Paris. More...

 

Manuela Gretkowska

#41 - August 30, 2008, 10am, Green Lake Library

Andrzej Bart, "Rien ne va plus", Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2005

With elegant irony -- the narrator is the Duke d'Arzipazzi, who by force of a peculiar pact is imprisoned for all eternity within his own portrait --Bart depicts the history of Poland (by a twist of fate the painting ends up in this country) from the eighteenth century up to and including the communist era, from the perspective of the extremely modest opportunities provided by hanging on the walls of the portrait’s successive owners. By the same token the story the duke tells is full of inaccuracies, patent errors and comical misunderstandings --we must remember that as an Italian, d'Arzipazzi does not necessarily have to understand the nuances of the Polish soul, hence his interpretations often argue with what the Poles regard as obvious. More...

 

Andrzej Bart (born 1951) writes fiction, screenplays and documentary films. He published  Pociąg do podróży (1999), Piąty jeździec Apokalipsy (1999, as Paul Scarron Jr) and Don Juan raz jeszcze (2006). Regarded as one of the most interesting and intriguing Polish writers, he does not seek publicity and avoids media. Still, his work is highly praised by literary critics and readers. His Rien ne va plus received the prestigious Koscielski Award in 1991. It has been translated and published in France and Hungary.

Andrzej Bart

#40 - July 26, 2008, 10am, Redmond Regional Library

Adam Zagajewski "Dwa miasta", 2007

Zagajewski is one of the best known contemporary Polish poets and for many a Nobel Prize candidate. His visit to Seattle in 2005 gathered crowds of local admirers. Dwa miasta is a book of remembrances about two cities - mythical Lvov & native Gliwice.

More about Adam Zagajewski

Adam Zagajewski

#39 - June 21, 2008, 10am, Green Lake Library

"Dolina radości", Stefan Chwin, Wydawnictwo Tytuł, 2006

This book describes adventures of a makeup artist Eryk Stamelmann before, during and after WWII. Stefan Chwin is a literary critic, essayist, novelist and illustrator based in Gdansk, Poland.

 About Stefan Chwin

Stefan Chwin

#38 - May 31, 2008, 10am, Redmond Regional Library

Bieguni Olga Tokarczuk, published by Wyd. Literackie in 2007.

Bieguni examines modern nomads in our complicated societies. This book has been nominated to the 2008 Nike awards.

More: about the book, Olga Tokarczuk

 

Olga Tokarczuk

#37 - April 26, 2008, 10am, Green Lake Library

Andrzej Stasiuk "Dojczland", Wydawnictwo Czarne, 2007

"It is a tale about the quite difficult lot of a literary gastarbeiter. The book is full of apt observations, witty thoughts and unsophisticated humor."
The author

Andrzej Stasiuk

#36 - March 29, 2008, 10am, Redmond Library

Jan Nowak-Jeziorański "Kurier z Warszawy", Wydawnictwo Znak, 2005

The book for the meeting is Kurier z Warszawy by Jan Nowak-Jezioranski published by Znak in 2005. Jezioranski was the legendary courier of the Polish WWII resistance as well as a person important in shaping Polish fate well into 1990s. He was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the US and with the Order of the White Eagle in Poland. This recount of his WWII exploits as a resistant fighter and an envoy for the Home Army reads like a great thriller.

English translation: COURIER FROM WARSAW By Jan Nowak. Illustrated. 477 pp. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. $24.95

Interesting book review in New York Times : The Polish connection by Jan Kott

Zdzisław Jeziorański (Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, 1914-2005) jako podchorąży altylerii konnej, 1937 r.

#35 - February 23, 2008, 10am, Green Lake Library

Andrzej Bart, "Don Juan raz jeszcze", 2006

DON JUAN RAZ JESZCZE / DON JUAN REVISITED is Andrzej Bart's bold reinterpretation of the legend of Don Juan the seducer, intertwined with the macabre story of the love of Queen Joanna of Castile for the corpse of King Philip the Handsome. The background for the tale is provided by the byways, castles and monasteries of Spain, taverns full of cutpurses, cursed places, torture chambers, but also a library on a par with the one from THE NAME OF THE ROSE as well as an alchemist's laboratory where heresy and magic flourish next door to the terror of the Inquisition. more ...

Andrzej Bart

#34 - January 26, 2008, 10am, Redmond Regional Library

Michal Komar, Władysław Bartoszewski "Władysław Bartoszewski. Wywiad rzeka". 2006

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski is a fascinating person with impeccable credentials: an Auschwitz prisoner, resistance fighter, a prisoner of the communist regime in 1950s, then a dissident working on reconciliation between Poland and Germany and finally a university professor who became a minister of foreign affairs in 1990s.

More about Władysław Bartoszewski here

Władysław Bartoszewski

#33 - November 24, 2007, 10am, Green Lake Library

FOTOTAPETA / PHOTO WALLPAPER is a collection of short stories by Michal Witkowski, author of the best-selling LUBIEWO.
In the first part of FOTOTAPETA / PHOTO WALLPAPER, Witkowski takes on the theme of "collaboration with life", going back to communist times and wondering what a young person today, who has had no "brush with history", makes of concepts such as "collaboration", "homeland", "love", or "death".
In the second part, the writer is interested in the unreal daydreams, kitschy dreams, deceptive notions which we are fed by mass culture. It is all these tacky bits of that culture, floating in our subconscious, that Witkowski calls "photo wallpaper". His characters think the reality they have been given is worse than it should be, that for some reason "things were meant to be different". They take offence, leave home, and never come back. The author wonders if in fact anyone did promise us that things would be different, that life is happening elsewhere, that we deserve something better... (www.culture.pl)

Michał Witkowski

#32 - October 27, 2007, 10am, Redmond Regional Library

"PasTVisko", Jacek Federowicz, Wydawnictwo Literackie 2006

Jacek Fedorowicz, 70, is a very well know comedian, both as an author and as an actor, who made his name as a radio personality and then a movie star. PasTVisko is a set of short and frequently vitriolic texts published as a syndicated column.

 

 

 

Jacek Federowicz

#31 - September 29, 2007, 10am, private residence, Seattle

"Rynek w Smyrnie", Jacek Dehnel, WAB, 2006

Jacek Dehnel is an accomplished writer, poet, painter and TV personality; his work won such prestigious awards as the Koscielskis' (2005) and the Polityka Paszport (2006). Rynek is a set of 6 short stories with fluid narrative and surprising turns.

 

Jacek Dehnel

#30 - August 25, 2007, 10am, Green Lake Library Seattle

"Ostatnia wieczerza", Pawel Huelle, 2007

The action of Pawel Huelle’s newest novel takes place in Gdansk, during a single day, in the indescript, but not too distant future. The city has undergone some substantial changes; a couple of streets have again switched names, mosques have sprung up near churches, the lives of the residents are sporadically paralyzed by mysterious explosions—in which some see the workings of Islamic fundamentalists, others the workings of a madman, while others still suspect sabotage by the producer of Monsignore brand wine. More ...

 

 

Paweł Huelle

#29 - July 28, 2007, 10am, Redmond Regional Library

"Lala", Jacek Dehnel, WAB, 2006

This charming, nostalgic book is by a very young writer, poet and painter who comes from a fairly typical Polish “upper class” family; its roots are in the landowning aristocracy, and it has many international connections. Part of the family is from the former eastern borderlands of the pre-war Polish Republic, and part from central Poland. From one generation to the next the landowners become the intelligentsia: writers, artists and engineers or senior officials. It happens in dramatic circumstances; in the background we see a revolution, two wars, the rise and fall of the communist regime, and the extinction of the landowner culture. Dehnel tells us the history of his own family and the whole of Polish society, but makes his grandmother the main narrator – a woman with a wonderful, intriguing personality and enormous character. More

 

Jacek Dehnel

#28 - June 30, 2007, 11am, Green Lake Library

"Gottland" by Mariusz Szczygiel, Wyd Czarne, 2006

A collection of exquisite reports on the Czechs entangled in their times. Czechoslovakia and today`s Czech Republic - Gottland - is a grotesque country of horror and sadness. Mariusz Szczygieł`s Gottland is not a stereotypical tale featuring happy-go-lucky people who bind their time drinking beer.
Lida Baarova, actress - the woman who made Goebbels cry; Otakar Szvec, sculptor - creator of world-largest statue of Stalin, who decided to kill himself before his work was finished; an authentic niece of Franz Kafka who still lives in Prague; Marta Kubiszova, singer - the Communist regime banned her from singing for 20 years and erased archive radio recordings of her songs; Tomas Bata - legendary shoe manufacturer who built a town fully - controlled by himself ten years before George Orwell`s suggested a similar idea; Eduard Kirchberger, writer - he created himself anew and became Karel Fabian; and many others - those are the characters portrayed in this book. By presenting their unusual lives, Mariusz Szczygieł gives account of the times in which they (and we) have lived. He shows the high price they had to pay for seemingly unimportant decisions and the tragic combination of chance and fate affecting the lives of whole generations. (from Wydawnictwo Czarne)

 

Mariusz Szczygieł

#27 - May 12, 2007, 11am,  Redmond Regional Library

The last days of the Second World War. Breslau has been turned into a bastion by the Germans as the Red Army arrives. Much of overland Breslau is already occupied by the Russians, but the underground passages still belong to the Germans. Mock, now 62 and suspended from duty, is coaxed into a private investigation.
Marek Krajewski has received to major awards - one was POLITYKA"S PASSPORT -an award given to the author of the best literary achievement in a certain year - it was in 2005 and for Widma w mieście Breslau and the other award was for Koniec świata w Breslau in 2003 – for the best crime novel of the year. (from Maclehose Press, 2006)

Marek Krajewski

#26 - April 14, 2007, 11 am, private residence, Seattle

It is a collection of short, frequently touching or even funny stories written by 12 contemporary Polish authors such as Olga Tokarczuk, Adam Zagajewski, Pawel Huelle and Stanislaw Baranczak.

 As a bonus, the meeting included viewing oil paintings by Joanna Brzostowska.

#25 - March 3, 2007, 11 am, Redmond Regional Library

Olga Tokarczuk, is a very popular writer, exploring both historical and mythical past; she was nominated to Nike for her most popular novel Prawiek i inne czasy / Primeaval and other times. Anna In tells the story from an old Sumerian myth about the title goddess descending to the underworld to meet her death and coming back.

More about Olga Tokarczuk

Olga Tokarczuk

#24 - February 3, 2007, 11 am, Green Lake Library, Seattle

This book is a compilation of the frequently twisted love stories by various contemporary Polish authors, published by Wyd. Jacek Santorski in 2006. Among the authors are Hanna Samson, Tomasz Jastrun, Jozef Hen and Krystyna Kofta.
#23 - January 6, 2007, 11 am, Redmond Regional Library

Stanisław Lem, "Rasa drapieżców”, 2006

 

Lem, who died in 2006 at the age of 85, was a writer and a philosopher; he is one of the few Polish writers who have achieved true world-wide recognition. Rasa drapiezcow contains his last texts, mostly from his somewhat irregular column at the weekly Tygodnik Powszechny.

Stanislaw Lem

#22 - November 4,  2006, 11 am, Green Lake Public Library

Krol kier znow na wylocie, Hanna Krall, Swiat Ksiazki, 2006

Hanna Krall, a writer and a journalist, is very well known for her books on fates of Polish Jews; she was also nominated to 2005 Nike for Wyjatkowo dluga linia (Exceptionally long line. In Krol Kier Krall applies her vintage terse and detached style to an extraordinary story about power of love carrying a woman through the Holocaust. Krall’s books are widely translated and available on the internet.

Hanna Krall

#21 - October 7,  2006, 11 am, Redmond Regional Library
Mikołaj Łoziński "Reisefieber", 2006

Mikołaj Łoziński is a young first-time author who has amazed the reading public. The vast majority of Polish novelists in the younger generation write about nothing but the here and now, focusing on the numerous problems of life in present-day Poland. However, the main character in Łoziński’s novel is a Swede who lives in the United States, and the story is set in Paris. So is this a forced attempt at originality, a common complaint among first-time writers? Not in the least – Łożiński offers his readers a universal theme, while the setting is basically of secondary significance. Reisefieber is the story of a personal family drama. More

Mikolaj Lozinski

#20 - September 9,  2006, 1 pm, Green Lake Library

Wiesław Myśliwski "Traktat o łuskaniu fasoli", Znak 2006

Wieslaw Mysliwski, a writer and playwright, was the very first recipient of the prestigious Polish literary award, Nike in 1997 which he received for his book Widnokrag  (The Horizon).  After 10 years of silence as a writer, he has his new novel published. Traktat o luskaniu fasoli  is written as a monologue to a mysterious visitor in whom the narrator confides his life long experience and wisdom. The book has already earned raves from the Polish critics and readers.

About  Wieslaw Mysliwski

Wiesław Myśliwski

#19. August 5, 2006, 11 am,  Green Lake Library in Seattle

Baltazar. Autobiografia by Slawomir Mrozek, published by Noir sur Blanc in 2006. Mrozek, 76, is a playwright, novelist and a short story writer whose satires were exposing the absurd of totalitarian systems and examining attitudes of individuals. Baltazar is a frank autobiography of a twisted career that included his being regime journalist, cartoonist, free lance satirist, dissident, emigrant in France and Mexico and lately a classic back in Poland.

Slawomir Mrozek

#18. July 8, 2006, 10 am, Redmond Regional Library

This year marks the 10th anniversary of death of Krzysztof Kieslowski, a famous Polish film director. To commemorate this event, the Polish Book Club of Seattle has chosen, as its July book, Kieslowski. Wazne, zeby isc by Stanislaw Zawislinski, published by Wyd. Skorpion in 2005.

 This book is billed as the first full biography of the famous director, that includes unknown facts, letters etc. Zawislinski wrote or edited other books on Kieslowski as well.

#17. June 3, 2006, 11 am,  Green Lake Library in Seattle

Uchodzcy by Henryk Grynberg, published by Wyd. Swiat Ksiazki in 2004.

 Grynberg, 70, is a distinguished novelist, poet, playwright, essayist and winner of many prestigious literary awards. Uchodzcy is a moving autobiography highlighting twisted lives of Polish Jews in Poland and USA in his terse style.

Henryk Grynberg

#16. May 6, 2006, 11 am,  Green Lake Library in Seattle

Polactwo by Rafal Ziemkiewicz, published by Wyd. Fabryka Snow in 2004.

 Ziemkiewicz is a freelance journalist and author of 4 books. Polactwo is a scorching and frequently funny criticism of attitudes and politics of contemporary Poles.

Rafal A. Ziemkiewicz

#15. April 1, 2006, 11 am, Redmond Regional Library

 

Dwukropek by Wislawa Szymborska, published by a5 in 2005.

 Szymborska is the famous poet and essayist who received the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature. Dwukropek is her first book of poems in three years.

 

Wisława Szymborska

#14. March 11, 2006, 10 am,  Redmond Library

Wojna zensko-meska i przeciwko swiatu by Hanna Samson, published by Jacek Santorski & Co Ag. Wyd. in 2005.

Samson is a psychologist and a journalist working for Twoj Styl magazine, her first book came out in 1996.

Hanna Samson

#13. January 21, 2006, 11 am,  Redmond Library

Jadac do Babadag by Andrzej Stasiuk, published by Wyd. Czarne in 2004.

 This down to earth book by a non-conformist author won the prestigious 2005 Nike Award in Poland.

 

Andrzej Stasiuk

#12. November 19, 2005, 11 am,  Green Lake Library in Seattle

Miasto utrapienia by Jerzy Pilch, published by Wyd. Swiat Ksiazki in 2004.

 Pilch is a contemporary autor, whose Pod mocnym aniolem won the Nike in 2001 (no English translation yet).  Miasto utrapienia is a vintage Pilch, with an ESP plot line serving as scaffolding for his down to earth humor and ironic observations on life in Poland and the human nature. 

Jerzy Pilch

#11. September 24, 2005, 11 am,  Redmond Regional Library

Paw Krolowej by Dorota Maslowska, published by Lampa i Iskra Boza in 2005.

It is the second book by the young prodigy author and it’s as controversial as the first one.

Dorota Masłowska

#10. July 23, 2005, 11 am,  Redmond Regional Library

Wszystkie jezyki swiata by Zbigniew Mentzel, published by Wyd. Znak in 2005.

This multilayered novel set in Poland around 2000 but with reminiscences about growing up in the 1950s and the 1960s has all the critics raving about it.

Zbigniew Mentzel

#9. May 28, 2005, 11 am,  Green Lake Library in Seattle

Podroze z Herodotem by Ryszard Kapuscinski, wyd ZNAK, 2004, in part an autobiography, in part meditations on world civilizations invoked by Kapuscinski’s life-long fascination with The Histories by Herodotus. Kapuscinski’s most famous books are Emperor and Lapidarium.

Ryszard Kapuścinski

#8. February 19, 2005, 11 am,  Redmond Regional Library

Z glowy by Janusz Glowacki, publ. Swiat Ksiazki, 2004.

 It’s an autobiography of the successful gadfly screenwriter, novelist and playwright. He has made his name in the US with his Broadway plays Hunting Cockroaches (1986) and especially with Antigone in New York (1992).

Janusz Glowacki

#7. December 18, 2004, 1 pm,  Seattle Central Public Library

Jasnie Panicz by Joanna Siedlecka, publ. Proszynski & S-ka, 2003, about the great writer Witold Gombrowicz, and Moj przyjaciel zdrajca by Maria Nurowska, publ. Santorski & Co, 2004, about Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, the famous spy who reported the martial law plans against Solidarity to the CIA.

#6. October 9, 2004, 1 pm,  Northeast Branch, Seattle Public Libraries

Zlote Ogniwa. Polska-Europa by Norman Davies, about intertwining and interdependencies of Polish and European histories, and Nie wszystko na sprzedaz, by Beata Tyszkiewicz, a memoir of the famous Polish actress

#5. June 19, 2004, 1 pm, Seattle Central Library

Madame by Antoni Libera, published by Wyd. Znak in 1998.

Madame, Libera's debut novel, was a bestseller nominated for the Nike, the most important Polish literature award, and was awarded the prestigious Andrzej Kijowski award. The novel is a humorous, self-ironical portrait of the author’s coming of age in the reality of communist Poland at the close of the 1970s. The book has been translated into many languages including English

Antoni Libera

#4. May 21, 2004, 8 pm, Jerzy’s Coffee in Redmond

 

Co z ta Polska by Tomasz Lis, Wyd. Rosner i Wsp., 2003.

The book proved to be controversial and hotly debated and discusses the current political and economical situation of Poland.

Tomasz Lis

#3. April 2, 2004,  8 pm, Jerzy’s Coffee Redmond

Upadek czlowieka pod Dworcem Centralnym by Jerzy Pilch, Wyd. Lit., 2002 and Dom dzienny, dom nocny by Olga Tokarczuk, Wyd. Ruta, 1999.

Both Pilch and Tokarczuk are contemporary writers. Upadek .. is a selection of the weekly writings for the Polityka magazine. Dom …  which was published in English (and is available at Amazon) as House of day, house of night is an extraordinary, poetic fiction book. Since its original publication it has remained a bestseller in Poland. Richly imagined, weaving in anecdote with recipes and gossip, Tokarczuk's novel is an epic of Nowa Ruda, a small town in Silesia.

#2. January 11, 2004, 11 am, Bellevue

Mercedes-Benz: z listów do Hrabala, Paweł Huelle, Wydawnictwo "Znak", 2001.

This charming novel tells a story related to the driving lessons that the narrator took in the 90. To impress a beautiful lady driving instructor and overcome his shyness, he became a great story teller. The main subjects of his stories were cars, starting with an antique Mercedes-Benz claimed by the Soviets in 1939.

Paweł Huelle

#1. November 1, 2003, 11 am, Bellevue Regional Library

Magia i pieniądze,  Maria Kornatowska, Wydawnictwo "Znak", 2002

This is a book based on the interviews that Maria Kornatowska conducted with Agnieszka Holland. Holland talks about her films, explaining some of the Polish cinema characteristics. Very interesting lecture.

Agnieszka Holland


Drawing: Renia czytająca, Wojciech Weiss, 1910