Synopses & Reviews
At several points in the haunting , Andrzej Stasiuk claims that what he is trying to do is "write a book about light." The result is a beautiful, lyrical series of evocations of a very specific locale at different times of the year, in different kinds of weather, and with different human landscapes. Dukla, in fact, is a real place: a small resort town not far from where Stasiuk now lives. Taking an usual form--a short essay, a novella, and then a series of brief portraits of local people or events--this book, though bordering on the metaphysical, the mystical, even the supernatural, never loses sight of the particular time, and above all place, in which it is rooted. Andrzej Stasiuk is one of the leading writers of Poland's younger generation, and is currently one of the most popular Polish novelists in English translation.
"Character is plot in this unusual collection (first published in Poland in 1999) from Stasiuk, the author of On the Road to Babadag. Beginning with 'Midsummer, PogÃ³rze,' a portrait of rural Polish life, these fragmented stories leave much for the reader to imagine. While Stasiuk may not be the unnamed narrator who shares memories and reveries, he offers few biographical details about this guide, only that he is unworldly, in his late 30s, and trying to 'write a book about light.' The title story, more than half the book, reads like a memoir or travel essay, heavy on nostalgia. Told in three parts with little in the way of traditional plot this story offers a warm, often poetic portrait of the narrator's beloved village. In part three, a spiritual search that's implicit in the earlier sections becomes explicit, with visits to local churches and memories of childhood leading to broader philosophical speculation. Eighteen beautifully written vignettes end the collection, covering the same territory, and prove far more compelling for the reader than the beginning." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Stasiuk's masterpiece--in line with the work of Danilo Kis and countryman Bruno Schulz--is finally made available in English in a stunning translation by Bill Johnston.
About the Author
Andrzej Stasiuk has received numerous awards for his work, including the Nike, Poland's most prestigious literary prize, for his 2004 collection of essays Traveling to Babadag. His 1999 novel Nine was recently published in English to great critical acclaim. Stasiuk also runs a publishing house, specializing in Central and Eastern European prose.Bill Johnston is the leading translator of Polish literature in the United States. His translation of Tadeusz Różewicz's new poems won the 2008 Found in Translation Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Poetry Award.