Polishrights.com | Spring 2014

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Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Polishri
Polishrights.com
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Contact
Maja Gańczarczyk
Rights Assistant
[email protected]
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Magdalena Dębowska
Literary Agent
[email protected]
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Polishrights is an independent literary agency established in
2008. It represents translation rights to Polish literary fiction and
non-fiction, as well as to books on graphic design, architecture
and photography. The author list comprises ca. 30 authors and
includes novelists as well as essayists, travel writers, reportage
writers and journalists.
The agency represents major Polish fiction writers: Olga Tokarczuk,
Andrzej Stasiuk, Jacek Dukaj, Jerzy Pilch, as well as writers from the
younger generation - Mikołaj Łoziński, Justyna Bargielska, Sylwia
Chutnik. The agency is also known for its excellent list of reportage writers, which includes Mariusz Szczygieł, Jacek Hugo-Bader,
Wojciech Tochman, Włodzimierz Nowak, Lidia Ostałowska, Paweł
Smoleński, Filip Springer et al.
Andrzej Stasiuk
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Andrzej Stasiuk is to Eastern European
literature what Borges or Marquez is
to the literature of southern American
latitudes – a voice of unique, transcendent
quality and supra-regional pertinence.
Contact
Magdalena Hajduk-Dębowska
Literary Agent
[email protected]
Maja Gańczarczyk
Rights Assistant
[email protected]
Andrzej Stasiuk
Andrzej Stasiuk is one of the most successful and internationally
acclaimed contemporary Polish writers. Born in 1960 in Warsaw, he
is a writer, poet, essayist and literary critic. Winner of many prizes
(including the 1994 Foundation of Culture Prize and the 1995 Koscielski Foundation Prize); also nominated several times for the
Nike Literary Prize. In youth, practiced many professions, was engaged in pacifist movement, deserted the army, and spent a year and
a half in prison. After this, he wrote for underground n
­ ewspapers.
In late 1980s, moved from Warsaw to a little village in the mountains, where he presently lives. Publishes books at Czarne P
­ ublishers,
a publishing house he has run together with his wife Monika
Sznajderman since 1996.
Andrzej Stasiuk wrote over 10 works of fiction, several theatre
plays, as well as collections of essays. He is the winner of ­numerous
literary prizes in Poland and abroad, including such awards as the
Nike Literary Prize.
His works have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Selected prizes:
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Foundation of Culture Prize – 1994
The Kościelski Foundation Prize – 1995
Biblioteka Raczyńskich Prize – 1998
Beata Pawlak Prize – 2004
Nike Literary Prize shortlist in 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2011
Samuel Bogumił Linde Literary Prize – 2002
Adalbert-Stifter-Prize – 2005
Nike Literary Prize – 2005
Vilenica Prize – 2008
Gdynia Literary Prize – 2010
Page 5 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Works of Andrzej Stasiuk
Andrzej Stasiuk, You Can't Get Espresso on
Country Roads
Novels & short stories:
...one stops now and then to take a rest, look around and count the
time gone and left. This is what this book is like: I am probing where
I have been, where I am and where I am heading.
And, needless to say, there is a wide choice of poignant observations, profound thoughts and vivid descriptions.
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Mury Hebronu (The Walls of Hebron; 1992, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001)
Biały kruk (White Raven; 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002)
Opowieści galicyjskie (Tales of Galicia; 1995, 2001, 2007)
Przez rzekę (Across the River; 1996)
Dukla (The World Behind Dukla; 1997, 1999, 2005)
Tekturowy samolot (Cardboard Airplane; 2000, 2001)
Dziewięć (Nine; 1999, 2003, 2004, 2009)
Jak zostałem pisarzem (How I Became a Writer; 1998)
Zima (Winter; 2001)
Jadąc do Babadag (On the Road to Babadag; 2004)
Fado (Fado; 2006)
Dojczland (Dojczland; 2007)
Taksim (Taksim; 2009)
Dziennik pisany później (Diary Kept Afterwards; 2010)
Grochów (Grochów, 2012)
Nie ma ekspresów przy żółtych drogach (You Can't Get Espresso
on Country Roads, 2013)
Yours sincerely: Author
Book details
Nie ma ekspresów przy żółtych
drogach, essay
Czarne 2013, 176 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-628-0
Rights available
World
Poetry:
·· Wiersze miłosne i nie (Verses Amorous and Otherwise; 1994)
Plays:
·· Dwie sztuki (telewizyjne) o śmierci (Two (TV) Plays About Death; 1998)
·· Noc czyli słowiańsko-germańska tragifarsa medyczna (Night or
Slavic-Germanic Medical Tragicomedy; 2005)
·· Ciemny las (Dark Woods; 2007)
·· Czekając na Turka (Waiting for the Turk; 2009)
Essays:
·· Moja Europa. Dwa eseje o Europie zwanej Środkową (My Europe:
Two Essays on So-called Central Europe; together with Yuri Andrukhovych; 2000, 2001)
Page 6 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 7 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Andrzej Stasiuk, Grochów
Andrzej Stasiuk’s latest publication consists of four sketches in
prose – works that are neither short stories nor pictures. Not particularly extensive, lacking in any clear plot, revolving around people that are not particularly sympathetic. In sum: there’s not a lot
happening here.
The protagonists of these pieces are taken from real life, and not
embellished for literature’s sake: a gal, a dog, a writer, and one of
Stasiuk’s childhood friends. What they have in common is that
they have died. In sum: again, not a lot.
At the same time, this not a lot – this loose, digressive narrative style, in which non-obligating description suddenly becomes
modest event – creates a dazzling and profound, if very free, philosophical tale, in which a sustained reflection on absence becomes
a kind of portrait of life itself. We alternate between questions relating to death and passages saturated with the senses. This interweaving of nothingness, on the one hand, with appearances, colors,
and scents, on the other, is so intense that Grochów might also be
called a melancholy essay on sight, touch, and smell.
For Stasiuk, life is an ephemeral substance that strives to persist.
This striving is in vain, because nothing always shines through life.
At times that nothing takes the form of spirits that, in appearing,
tear through the tightly woven fabric of our existence. At other
times, nothing reveals itself in the eyes of a dog. At other times,
the narrator is witness to nothing while the bodies of those close
to him, tormented by illnesses and old age, are transformed into
objects – foreign to those that inhabit them and foreign to those
that observe them. But at times nothing appears with no warning.
And when nothing betrays no sign of itself, life loses meaning.
This is why Stasiuk doesn’t look for meaning, and doesn’t ask
questions about an overriding order. He knows that the overriding order of life is dying. He knows that life double-crosses always
and everyone. That the narrative that all of us attempt to impose
upon our existence will sooner or later will come undone. There
is no point, then, in designing overly cohesive stories. The answer
to the fundamental inexpressibility of life is an inexpressibility
of the story – a digressive course, an incessant changing of topics,
a kind of shunting of narration. (Przemysław Czapliński, courtesy of the Book Institute)
Andrzej Stasiuk, Taksim
Book details
Grochów, short stories
Czarne 2012, 96 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-288-6
Rights sold
France (Actes Sud)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Hungary (Magveto)
Spain (Acantilado)
Sweden (Ersatz)
Prizes
Shortlisted for the Angelus
Central European Literature
Award 2012
Longlisted for the Gdynia Literary Prize 2013
Page 8 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
In his latest novel Andrzej Stasiuk tells a tale of a very last chase
of capitalism. His two main heroes – Władek, a marketeer who
circulates among the bazaars of European provinces, and Paweł,
his driver – suffer a symbolic and actual defeat in their encounter
with the new force. Up till this moment they’d always managed
to come out on top. Władek in particular is like a knight errant of
the first phase of capitalism in these parts.
Now, yesterday’s culture of short-lived products is becoming
a disposable culture of one-time use. Asia invades Europe, not
with an army, but with trade. It floods the continent with knockoffs, in other words merchandise the Chinese copied from Central
European products that were themselves copies of Western items.
If someone has the impression that Stasiuk has created a contemporary version of the story of how “the yellow race overcomes
the white race”, they will only partly be right. Stasiuk is less interested in portraying the victors in this capitalist duel of deceptions,
more in showing us the losers – that is to say, the pariahs of Europe,
inhabitants of its poorest regions, people condemned to a worse
life because they live in a worse place. These people acquire the
cheapest goods, but they themselves, especially the women, are
also turned into merchandise. The only thing Western Europe exports to Central Europe is its trash, its used objects, the detritus of
its development, while from there it imports male bodies for its
harsher jobs and female bodies for its entertainment. In this way
the strength of money and the weakness of the provinces cause
the ideal of Europe to enter liquidation. And since history driven
by money has no brakes, it is a liquidation that cannot be reversed.
(Przemysław Czapliński)
Book details
Taksim, novel
Czarne 2009, 323 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-116-2
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Paradox)
Croatia (Fraktura)
France (Actes Sud)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Hungary (Magveto)
Italy (RCS Libri)
Macedonia (Antolog)
Norway (Aschehoug)
Slovakia (Slovart)
Slovenia (Studentska Zalozba)
Spain (Acantilado)
Sweden (Ersatz)
Prizes
Gdynia Literary Prize 2010
Page 9 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Andrzej Stasiuk, Diary Kept Afterwards
Andrzej Stasiuk, White Raven
(with photographs by Dariusz Pawelec)
An account of Stasiuk’s journeys to Albania, Serbia, Montenegro
and Bosnia. But Diary Kept Afterwards is not one more piece of
“travel writing”, not just another story about journeys in the Balkans. Stasiuk’s expeditions south, his excursions to places you
won’t find in travel guides, are intended to gain some perspective
on his own country and on Polishness.
“We went into a bar to get some coffee and raki to help us decide
what to do. The inside looked like a robbers’ cave, but no one
paid particular attention to us. The faces at the neighboring tables had seen it all. The raki tasted like gasoline. Rigels got into
conversation with a man. They walked out in front of the bar together. A moment later he came back. “It was a misunderstanding.
He thought I didn’t have a passport and he was offering to smuggle me across”. (excerpt)
Book details
Dziennik pisany później, essay
Czarne 2010, 168 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-231-2
Rights sold
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Prizes
Shortlisted for the Nike Literary Prize 2011
Dariusz Pawelec (b. 1960) is a TV director and operator working on
programmes and documentaries devoted to culture.
Wedged between anecdotal recollections and colourful descriptions of the present, fragments of highly complex philosophical
problems such as Time, Identity, and Memory, flash past, wrapped
up in simple events or reflection. This skilful ability to present
intricate matters in everyday imagery and words is exactly what
makes this book extraordinarily fascinating. Stasiuk is, moreover,
an exuberantly lyrical author. This is demonstrated especially in
his fantastically detailed descriptions of nature. The now, the light,
and the loneliness, the trees and the mountains, are rendered time
and again in strange, gripping imagery that strikes one as so very
true to life that one finds himself shivering with cold and desolation. (“Trouw”)
Worse than death is waiting for it to come. Like all last words, this
one is also to be outdone. In a book written in wonderfully intoxicating language, Andrzej Stasiuk has his characters empty the cup
of doubt until the Polish variant of this truth appears at its bottom:
Worse than death is uncertainty as to whether life will begin at all.
(Thomas Wirtz, “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”)
A singular story of friendship, failure and death, told breathlessly in the raw language of suburban Warsaw, but also in solicitously drawn, keenly piercing pictures. (Martin Pollack, “Der Spiegel”)
Page 10 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Book details
Biały kruk, novel
Czarne 2002, 324 pages
isbn 83-87391-58-1
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Paradox)
Czech Republic (Paseka)
Finland (Taifuuni)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Germany (Rowohlt)
Hungary (Europa)
Italy (Bompiani)
Macedonia (Antolog)
Netherlands (De Geus)
Russia (Azbooka)
Serbia (Clio)
UK (Serpent’s Tail)
Prizes
Foundation for Culture
Award 1994
Kościelski Foundation
Prize 1995
Page 11 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Andrzej Stasiuk, Winter
Short stories conserving the tone of Galician Tales: about people
and animals inhabiting the beautiful, cursed land of Galicia.
“And then, as usual, everything wanes, and the most ancient darkness falls on Edek, Kaczmarek, Hrynacz and the others. Dreams
change, but the darkness lasts and gives solace. It washes away
events and things. It strengthens the bodies. It has happened thus
since the beginning of the world, and it will happen, to protect us
from dying of the excess”. (Excerpt)
Plays by Andrzej Stasiuk
Book details
Zima, short stories
Czarne 2001, 56 pages
isbn 83-87391-43-3
Waiting for the Turk
Czekając na Turka, Czarne 2009, 76 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-072-1
Rights sold: Czech Republic (trade, theatre adaptation), Romania (Editura Art),
Slovakia (theatre adaptation, Slovak radio)
Rights sold
Croatia (Naklada MD )
Germany (Suhrkamp)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Prizes
Nominated for the Nike
Literary Prize 2002
Written as part of the European theatre project “After the Fall –
Europe After 1989” – Goethe Institut
Dark Woods
Ciemny las, Czarne 2007, 112 pages
isbn 978-83-89755-89-6
Right sold: Czech Republic (trade), Germany (Speicherbühne Bremen)
Night or Slavic-Germanic Medical Tragicomedy
Noc czyli słowiańsko-germańska tragifarsa medyczna, Czarne 2005, 95 pages
isbn 83-89755-21-1
Right sold: Czech Republic (trade, radio rights)
Two (TV) Plays About Death
Dwie sztuki (telewizyjne) o śmierci, Czarne 1998, 90 pages
isbn 83-87391-06-9
Page 12 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 13 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Selected reviews
[...] The seedy Warsaw criminal underground underscores Stasiuk’s
bleak motif, creating a tone that is unmistakably European and distinctly influenced by Poland’s former communist regime. The novel, impressively translated by Johnston, offers a sobering vision of
the new face of central Europe in a narrative that is at once hallucinatory, haunting and abject. (“Publishers Weekly”, starred review )
The technique is masterly, and the carefully calibrated atmosphere of dread and threat beautifully sustained. (“Kirkus Reviews”)
On the Road to Babadag
The spellbinding language captures the author’s piercing insights
with painful clarity; Stasiuk refuses to soften what he sees, hears
and smells, providing a dynamic postcard of his travels. […]
Whether writing about gypsies, the ancient bond between beasts
and humans or the threadbare currency of Moldova, Stasiuk’s language and sharp observations reveal a discerning intellect. A mesmerizing, not-to-be-missed trek through a little-visited region of
the world. (“Kirkus Reviews” )
A eulogy for the old Europe, the Europe both in and out of time,
the Europe now lost in the folds of the map, On the Road to Babadag (and Fado, too) is valuable reading for UK readers. If we can’t
read our way around Europe, how will we ever find our place, our
identity, within it? (James Hopkin, “The Guardian” )
Nine
One measurement of a genuine writer is his or her ability to evoke
a place that is instantly familiar yet outside our direct personal experience, presenting it to us as a more accurate and vivid depiction than our prejudices had previously allowed. Andrzej Stasiuk
is this kind of writer. He’s an accomplished stylist with an eye for
the telling detail that brings characters and situations to life. […]
In this canny translation from the Polish by Bill Johnston, Sta­siuk’s
prose soars over the city. He sees as a helicopter might, and illuminates stray lives with empathy and verve. […]
I caught a flavor of Hamsun, Sartre, Genet and Kafka in Stasiuk’s
scalpel-like but evocative writing. Nine feels like a major work of
modern fiction, a portrait of an uprooted and restless generation
of Eastern Europeans and of a city resigned to the fact that postCommunism is not quite as advertised. This book will undoubtedly win Andrzej Stasiuk a greater following in America and, with
luck, will pave the way for the translation of more vibrant literature from Eastern Europe. (Irvine Welsh, “New York Times” )
Page 14 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
In its very inexpressiveness, the narrative voice in Nine becomes
an active element, oscillating across a range of overtones. Parts of
the novel verge on satire, their deadpan humor derived from the
colloquial, fast-moving dialogue and the sheer triteness of the characters’ perceptions and aspirations. […]
In some ways, Nine seems to draw on the tradition of fictional
angst and revulsion, as if Nausea and The Stranger were crossed
with the dyspeptic vision of Michel Houellebecq. But the combination of elements Stasiuk evokes, the small hopes and widespread corruption, the tawdriness and seductiveness of the material world, the hooligan toughness and melancholy cynicism,
belongs unmistakably to post-Communist Eastern Europe. (Eva
Hoffman, “The New York Review of Books” )
For all its street-smart pace and grit, Nine is studded with hauntingly graceful and tender passages (Bill Johnston’s translation reads
beautifully). [...] Impatient with join-the-dots exposition, Stasiuk
can be elliptical to the point of opacity. He cuts from scene to scene,
mind to mind. Keep up, and the rewards justify the effort. If Quentin Tarantino mutated into a Polish literary novelist, his work might
resemble Nine. (Boyd Tonkin, “The Indepen­d ent” )
The writing is intensely atmospheric. [...] Nine is a novel almost
wholly given over to mood. [...] Nine is not always intelligible; it
is sometimes frustratingly opaque, but it is brooding, beguiling,
memorable. It is a serious novel about politics, society, doing what
one must; it approaches the intellect via the senses. (Toby Lichtig,
“Times Literary Supplement” )
Tales of Galicia
Tales of Galicia […] describes the soul of a village community with
more authenticity than anything else I have read. (John Berger,
“Los Angeles Times” )
Page 15 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Foreign sales of titles represented by Suhrkamp
On the Road to Babadag
Nine
Albania (Mesonjetorija)
Belorussia (Zmicier Kolas)
Bulgaria (Paradox)
Croatia (Fraktura)
Czech Republic (Periplum)
Finland (Like)
France (Christian Bourgois)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Greece (Polis)
Hungary (Magvetö)
Italy (Bompiani)
Lithuania (Kitos Knygos)
Netherlands (De Geus)
Romania (RAO)
Russia (NLO)
Serbia (Dereta)
Slovenia (Beletrina)
Spain (Quaderns Crema)
Sweden (Ersatz)
UK (Harvill)
Ukraine (Krytyka)
USA (Harcourt Brace)
Croatia (Fraktura)
France (Christian Bourgois)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Hungary (Magvetö)
Italy (Bompiani)
Netherlands (De Geus)
Romania (RAO)
Russia (Azbooka)
Slovenia (Beletrina)
Spain (Quaderns Crema)
Sweden (Norstedts)
UK (Harvill Secker)
Ukraine (Klasyka)
USA (Harcourt Brace)
Tales of Galicia
Czech Republic (Periplum)
France (Christian Bourgois)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Hungary (Jak Publishing House)
Netherlands (De Geus)
Slovakia (Slovart)
UK (Twisted Spoon Press)
Fado
English world rights (Dalkey Archive)
France (Christian Bourgois)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Romania (RAO)
Ukraine (Grani-T)
Cardboard Airplane
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Across the River
France (Le Passeur)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
How I Became a Writer
Czech Republic (Prostor)
France (Actes Sud)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Korea (Saemulgyul)
Romania (Paralela 45)
Hungary (Magus Design)
The World Behind Dukla
Czech Republik (Periplum)
France (Christian Bourgois)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Hebrew world rights (Modan)
Hungary (Magvetö)
Italy (Bompiani)
Netherlands (De Geus)
Norway (Aschehoug)
Russia (NLO)
Slovakia (Baum)
Spain (Quaderns Crema)
Sweden (Norstedts)
Turkey (Monokl)
Page 16 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
My Europe – Two Essays
on So-Called Central Europe
Croatia (Fraktura)
Czech Republic (Periplum)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Hungary (Kijárat Kiadó)
Romania (Polirom)
Spain (Quaderns Crema)
Ukraine (Klassyka)
Page 17 | Polishrights.com | Fall / Winter 2013 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Olga Tokarczuk
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Her prose is simple and unadorned.
She tells her stories with a natural fluency
that easily accommodates the hopes, drudgery
and absurdities of the world she is describing.
Olga Tokarczuk
Olga Tokarczuk (b. 1962) is the best-selling author of eight novels
and two sets of short stories.
Her books have won several major prizes in Poland and abroad –
notably, Runners won the 2008 Nike Literary Prize – and have been
translated into a dozen languages. The English-language edition
of House of Day, House of Night (Granta, 2002), was shortlisted for
the IMPAC Literary Award. Her other novel to be published in English is Primeval and Other Times (Twisted Spoon, 2010), and ­several
of her short stories have appeared in US or UK anthologies or
literary journals.
As well as having a loyal following in Poland, Tokarczuk is
known for expressing views that counter traditional Polish public
­opinion. In a society that can be insular and where many people
are still very conservative, this takes courage. She recently ruffled
some feathers in Poland by commenting on the national reaction
to the Smolensk air disaster in a New York Times editorial, where
she criticised the Polish tendency to regard their nation as a victim, and the dominance of Catholicism in public life.
Selected prizes:
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Polityka Passport – 1996
The Kościelski Foundation Prize – 1997
Brücke Berlin Prize – 2002
IMPAC Dublin Literary Award shortlist – 2004
Nike Literary Prize Readers’ Choice – 1997, 1999, 2002
Nike Literary Prize – 2008
Vilenica Prize 2013
Page 21 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Bibliography
Olga Tokarczuk,
Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead
·· Podróż ludzi księgi (The Journey of the People of the Book, 1993,
1996, 1998)
·· E.E. (E.E., 1995, 1997, 2005)
·· Prawiek i inne czasy (Primeval and Other Times, 1996, 1997, 1998,
2000, 2005)
·· Szafa (The Cupboard, 1997, 1998, 2005)
·· Dom dzienny, dom nocny (House of Day, House of Night, 1998,
2000, 2005)
·· Gra na wielu bębenkach (Playing Many Drums, 2001, 2007)
·· Ostatnie historie (Final Stories, 2004)
·· Anna In w grobowcach świata (Anna In in the Catacombs, 2006)
·· Bieguni (Runners, 2007)
·· Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych (Drive Your Plough Over
the Bones of the Dead, 2009)
·· Moment niedźwiedzia (The Moment of the Bear, 2012)
An eccentric woman in her 60s describes the events surrounding
a series of local murders in a remote village in south-west Poland.
Finally it becomes clear that she herself is the murderer, driven
by revenge for the killing of her pet dogs by local hunters. By no
means a conventional crime story, this entertaining novel offers
some thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of madness, social injustice against people who are marginalised, animal rights,
the hypocrisy of traditional religion, and belief in predestination.
In recent years the crime novel has emerged as a new genre in
Polish literature. Here a novelist of a more sophisticated kind uses
the genre for her own purposes to produce a very readable book.
But the crime story, which is well constructed and does offer
the reader a bit of a mild puzzle (most of the victims are shady
characters whose murders are no great surprise), is just an excuse
for some more subtle aims. By telling the story through the first-person narrative of Janina, the woman committing the murders, the
author draws a portrait of a form of madness from the inside, from
the perspective of the person affected. She is likeable, so the reader
inevitably forms sympathy for her, and may sometimes wonder if she isn’t really the only sane person in the vicinity. Seeing
the world from her perspective, we can understand her indignation at the boorish, self-righteous hunters, safe in their patriarchal world. Such is the arrogance of this male-dominated society,
that weak, apparently insignificant people are ignored as if they
simply don’t count; to such an extent that in fact they can get
away with murder.
Page 22 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Book details
Prowadź swój pług przez kości
umarłych, novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2009
318 pages
isbn 978-83-08-04397-4
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Panorama+)
Croatia (Ljevak)
Czech Republic (Host)
Denmark (Tiderne Skifter)
Egypt (Sphinx Agency)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Germany (Schöffling)
Italy (Nottetempo)
Mexico (Oceano)
Serbia (Kulturni Centar Novog Sada)
Spain (Siruela)
Sweden (Ariel)
Turkey (Dedalus)
Ukraine (Urbino)
Page 23 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Olga Tokarczuk, The Moment of the Bear
Do animals wear masks? What is hiding behind their eyes if they
have no soul? Is heterotopy – the word entirely different from
ours where “no killing and eating occurs” because the Others are
“partners, relatives” – a possibility? Can there be a world where the
knowledge-power nexus is replaced by a strategy of conscious ignorance and there is no dominance but compassion? Balancing
at the border of literary mythology and critical essay writing, Olga Tokarczuk tells us the story of body, sexuality and death, the
story of sexual entanglement and of the fascination with darkrooms, the story of Michel Faber and Matrix. But also the story
of her journeys, her map of fears and lands, the streets of Amsterdam and the Ślęża mountain range looming in the distance. (from
the publisher’s note)
Olga Tokarczuk, Runners
Book details
Moment niedźwiedzia,
literary essay
Krytyka Polityczna 2012
192 pages
ISBN 978-83-62467-36-5
Rights sold
Croatia (Meandar)
Czech Republic (Host)
Sweden (Ariel)
If the world created by Olga is better than the one we live in, it is
not because she passes over what is painful but because she remodels this world to suit the needs of a thinking, astute, sensitive
and sympathetic person – such as herself. (Kinga Dunin, from the
introduction)
Tokarczuk’s writing challenges the dividing line between nature
and culture, man and woman, the truth of life and the truth of fiction. (Joanna Bator)
The central theme of this collection of long, short and very short
stories is a way of life that involves non-stop travel. This is reflected in the title, Runners, which refers to a 19th-century Russian religious sect, extremists who believed the established church and
state were tools of the devil, and that the only way to remain free
of his influence was to be always on the move, never settled in
houses, and never tied to the world as it is.
Another major theme in the book is the history of anatomy
and especially the preservation of human tissue, which represents a journey in the opposite direction, as far as possible inside
the human body.
With these two themes woven together to form the main threads,
the structure of the book is unconventional. The effect of building
up shorter and longer sections produces a “mosaic” narrative. In
Runners, although the structure seems to be fragmented, recurrent
themes echo throughout, such as the meaning of place and time,
deformity, loss and death. Fragmentation is also a reflection of the
travelling way of life – those who refuse to remain in one place
accept that their world consists of a succession of pieces that do
not necessarily have continuity or join in a logical way. Thus the
structure of the text illustrates the way of life it describes, and is
skilfully constructed, ultimately to achieve a sense of wholeness.
The narrator regrets not having learned her grandfather’s craft of
weaving, but in a sense she (or at least the author) has woven the
text of the book to create a single piece of fabric.
Book details
Bieguni, novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2007
456 pages
isbn 978-83-08-03986-1
Rights sold
Brazil (Tinta Negra Bazar
Editorial)
Bulgaria (Izdatelstvo Vesela
Lûckanova)
Czech Republic (Host)
Finland (Otava)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Germany (Schöffling)
Holland (DeGeus)
Latvia (Metodika)
Macedonia (Ili Ili)
Norway (Den Grønne Malen)
Romania (Editura Art)
Russia - 1st serial (Innostrannaja Literatura)
Serbia (Nolit)
Slovenia (Modrijan)
Sweden (Ariel)
Turkey (Dogan Egmont)
Ukraine (Folio)
Prizes
Nike Literary Prize 2008
Page 24 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 25 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Olga Tokarczuk, Primeval and Other Times
Tokarczuk’s third novel, Primeval and Other Times was awarded the
Koscielski Foundation Prize in 1997, which established the author
as one of the leading voices in Polish letters. It is set in the mythical Polish village of Primeval, which is populated by eccentric, archetypal characters. The village, a microcosm of Europe and the
world, is guarded by four archangels, from whose perspective the
novel chronicles the lives of Primeval’s inhabitants over the course
of the feral 20th century. In prose that is forceful and direct, the
narrative follows Poland’s tortured political history from 1914 to
the contemporary era and the episodic brutality that is visited on
ordinary village life. Yet Primeval and Other Times is a novel of universal dimension that does not dwell on the parochial. A stylized
fable as well as epic allegory about the inexorable grind of time,
the clash between modernity (the masculine) and nature (the feminine), it has been translated into most European languages. (from
Twisted Spoon Press, publisher of UK edition)
In this epic novel Olga Tokarczuk has drawn on the tradition of
magic realism to create a world permeated with ancient myths as
much as it is firmly rooted in the present.
Tokarczuk has said of the novel: “I always wanted to write a book
such as this. One that creates and describes a world. It is the story
of a world that, like all things living, is born, develops, and then
dies.” Kitchens, bedrooms, childhood memories, dreams and insomnia, reminiscences, and amnesia – these are part of the existential and acoustic spaces from which the voices of Tokarczuk’s
tale come, her “boxes in boxes”.
From odds and ends of real history Tokarczuk builds a myth, i.e.,
a history with a rigid order, where all the events, including the bad
and tragic ones, have their reasons for happening. She organizes
space according to the model of the mandala – a circle drawn inside a square, which is the geometrical image of perfection and
completion. (Jerzy Sosnowski, “Gazeta Wyborcza”)
Olga Tokarczuk, House of Day, House of Night
Book details
Prawiek i inne czasy, novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2005
5 editions, 268 pages
isbn 83-87021-01-6
Rights sold
Belarus (Lohvinau)
Brazil (Tinta Negra Bazar
Editorial)
Bulgaria (Altera Delta)
Catalonia (Pro Beta)
China (Dakai Wenhua Chubanshe Gufen Youxian Gongsi)
Czech Republic (Host)
Denmark (Fremad)
Estonia (Lindepuu)
Finland (Otava)
France (Robert Laffont)
Germany (Berlin Verlag)
Holland (DeGeus)
Hungary (L’Harmattan
Konyvkiado)
Italy (Nottetempo)
Lithuania (Strofa)
Macedonia (Makedonska Rec)
Romania (Polirom)
Russia (NLO )
Serbia (Paideia)
Spain (Lumen)
Sweden (Ariel)
Taiwan (Locus)
Turkey (Dedalus)
UK (Twisted Spoon Press)
Ukraine (Kalvaria)
Prizes
Nike Literary Prize 1997 –
Readers’ Choice
Polityka Passport 1996
The Kościelski Foundation
Prize 1997
Page 26 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Nowa Ruda is a small town in Silesia, an area that has been a part
of Poland, Germany, and the former Czechoslovakia in the past.
When the narrator moves into the area, she discovers everyone –
and everything – has a story. With the help of Marta, her enigmatic neighbor, the narrator accumulates these stories, tracing the history of Nowa Ruda from the its founding to the lives of its saints,
from the caller who wins the radio quiz every day to the man who
causes international tension when he dies straddling the border
between Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Each of the stories represents a brick and they interlock to reveal the immense monument that is the town. What emerges is
the message that the history of any place – no matter how humble – is limitless, that by describing or digging at the roots of a life,
a house, or a neighborhood, one can see all the connections, not only with one’s self and one’s dreams but also with all of the universe.
Richly imagined, weaving anecdote with recipes and gossip, Tokar­
czuk’s novel is an epic of a small place. Since its publication in 1998
it has remained a bestseller in Poland. House of Day, House of Night
is the English-language debut of one of Europe’s best young writers.
(from Northwestern University Press, publisher of US edition)
[A] delight to read – wonderfully inventive and by turns comic,
tragic and wise. Tokarczuk’s prose is simple and unadorned. She
tells her stories with a natural fluency that easily accommodates
the hopes, drudgery and absurdities of the world she is describing.
Real lives mingle with the imagined, dreams with day, past with
present in an entirely plausible way. (“The Observer”)
Prizes
Nike Literary Prize 1999 – Readers’ Choice
Shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2004
Brücke Berlin Prize 2002
Book details
Dom dzienny, dom nocny, novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 1998
4 editions, 277 pages
isbn 83-90028-19-0
Rights sold
Brazil (Tinta Negra Bazar
Editorial)
Bulgaria (Abagar)
China (Dakai Wenhua Chubanshe Gufen Youxian Gongsi)
Croatia (Nakladni Zavod Matice Hrvatskie)
Czech Republic (Host)
Denmark (Tiderne Skifter)
Estonia (Lindepuu)
Finland (Otava)
France (Robert Laffont)
Germany (DVA )
Holland (DeGeus)
Hungary (L’Harmattan)
Italy (Fahrenheit 451)
Japan (Hakusui-sha)
Lithuania (Strofa)
Russia (AST )
Serbia (Nolit)
Slovakia (Aspekt)
Slovenia (Drustvo Apokalipsa)
Sweden (Ariel)
Turkey (Grey Cat)
Taiwan (Locus)
UK (Granta)
USA (Northwestern University Press)
Page 27 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Olga Tokarczuk, Anna In in the Catacombs
Olga Tokarczuk has chosen to revive one of the oldest myths, the
story of the moon goddess Inana, who descends to the underworld,
ruled by her sister Ereshkigal.
Tokarczuk’s telling of the story takes elements from different
versions and uses the peripheral characters, mainly the goddesses’
loyal servants, as narrators. Anna In, as the goddess is renamed,
answers the summons of her sinister sister and descends to the
underworld, where she is imprisoned as one of the dead. But her
loyal servant Nina Shubur appeals to her three Fathers, apparently the most powerful gods, to rescue her. When they refuse to
help, Nina Shubur seeks out Anna In’s mother Ninma, a goddess
with the power to give life who disagreed with the Fathers’ idea
of creating the world and has chosen to live apart from them. She
proves mightier than the Fathers, instructing Nina Shubur to tell
them that unless her daughter returns from the underworld, she
will withhold all the normal processes of life. This threat works,
and Anna In is released, but on condition she send a substitute.
She returns to earth pursued by demons, and eventually the choice
of sacrifice falls on her former lover, the Gardener. Attempting to
protect him, his sister offers to go instead of him; in the final outcome they take it in turns to spend half a year each in the underworld. Finally the Fathers celebrate Anna In’s return by endowing her with divine attributes, which she passes on to mankind.
The story is set in a surreal world, where people live in a sky-high
futuristic city built on top of the catacombs, the realm of the dead;
express lifts go up to the office-like realm of the gods, and down to
the dank underworld. Busy as an ant-heap at its urban centre where
everything seems focused on rapid results, outside the city there
are desolate suburbs, such as the deserted airfield where Ninma
nurtures life. The narrative also combines abstraction and realism,
using a lyrical style with echoes of classical epic.
Olga Tokarczuk, Final Stories
Book details
Anna In w grobowcach świata
novel
Znak 2006, 222 pages
isbn 83-240-0793-3
Rights sold
Czech Republic (Kniha)
Germany (Berlin Verlag)
Slovakia (Slovart)
Page 28 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Three women: a grandmother, her daughter and granddaughter
encounter death. They face the need to examine their lives over
again.
Each of them is searching for their own place. Although they belong to different generations of the same family, their worlds have
no common ground. Final Stories is a contemporary saga, where
the world passes right in front of the heroines’ eyes.
All three of them are eternally wandering monads, each in their
own way. They are human kites. The maps they navigate by are
different, but are linked by some kind of mythic nostalgia for that
single, right place that cannot be reached. The first of the women
journeys to the home of her childhood; the second to a lost land;
and the third to an abstract northern country, a place that is located beyond shared, tribal nostalgias, but yet leads to familiar,
trifling, old objects.
Only these objects are rooted in the world of “before”: before
the two wars, industrialisation, globalisation – all those “-ations”.
They are thus grounded in a remote, but safe world.
Book details
Ostatnie historie, novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2004
292 pages
isbn 83-08-03623-6
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Izdatelstvo Vesela
Lûckanova)
Czech Republic (Host)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Germany (DVA )
Holland (DeGeus)
Israel (Achuzat Bayit)
Russia (NLO )
Ukraine (Litopis)
In a sense, I wanted to challenge this saga. It would be my second
attempt, after Primeval and Other Times. What a broad-ranging form
the saga is, isn’t it? How much can be told within it. But a serious
saga can’t succeed today. Not only because traditional bonds between the generations no longer exist, but because people no longer
believe in them. It’s no accident that the last solidly-written sagas
appeared in the first half of the last century, when an ordered, and
still traditional world still existed. Final Stories is a saga of sorts, but
imperfect, damaged. Any continuity between the generations is only formal. Here we have mothers and daughters, grandmothers and
granddaughters. Their worlds have ceased to match each other’s.
The true subject of sagas is the passing of things and death, which
occurs to people and in front of people’s eyes. The single, authentic subject of sagas is the slow and inevitable dying of the world
we know. (Olga Tokarczuk)
Page 29 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Olga Tokarczuk, Playing Many Drums
Olga Tokarczuk uses words to conjure up worlds which contain
an immense charge of inner truth. As in the book’s title story, she
keeps pulling characters out of herself, “like rabbits out of a hat”.
She doesn’t create them, she doesn’t simulate anything. Most importantly, she knows that in order to become someone else, you
have to invalidate yourself, “leaving the house as A, but returning
to a different house as B”. Olga Tokarczuk can do it and does it convincingly, like the heroine of the story Playing Many Drums. That
woman was capable of enchanting foreign people from a foreign
culture, in a foreign city with the story of a man killed in the fighting, who, before his death, ordered that his skin be made into
a drum which would urge men into battle. Literature is also a kind
of drum, calling for the hand of a seasoned drummer. (Krzysztof
Masłoń, “Rzeczpospolita”)
The writer has divided the 19 stories into three distinct groups. The
common threads for the first group are motifs which pervade life
and the paper world of literature. The second pulls together stories set in the past, a continuation of her mythographic writings
[...].The stories of the third group, however, represent a true watershed in her craft. Tokarczuk decided she had matured sufficiently
to describe the world her readers inhabit. And she did it without
giving up the central qualities of her writing […].
The concept of “magic realism” has already been used with
reference to Tokarczuk’s writing. In her present book the contemporary world has become a kind of colander which realistic nectar
and only the tiniest grains of magic have passed through. In spite
of that, Playing Many Drums glitters in the light of sparks thrown
up in a clash of the most familiar kind of ordinariness with the
Mystery. (Paweł Dunin-Wąsowicz, “Przekrój”)
Olga Tokarczuk, E.E.
Book details
Gra na wielu bębenkach, short
stories
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2007
3 editions, 342 pages
isbn 83-91286-59-2
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Izdatelstvo Vesela
Lûckanova)
Czech Republic (Periplum)
Germany (Matthes & Seitz)
Hungary (Napkut Kiado)
Italy (Forum Edizioni)
Russia (NLO )
Serbia (Nolit)
Slovakia (Drewo)
Sweden (Ariel)
E.E. is, like Tokarczuk’s first novel, a story about the mystery of
human personality and the search for the meaning of life and the
world. Tokarczuk, in spite of her fantastic costume; of her occult,
Gnostic, theophysical etc. staffage, is a writer who represents psychological realism and cognitive scepticism. She writes in an attractive way and in a serious tone about important matters. We ought
to be aware there is no irony or even more distinctive humour in
her writing. It’s a cool vivisection of the characters’ events, lives
and personalities, a multifaceted examination of a phenomenon
and its accompanying circumstances.
Book details
E.E., novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2005
4 editions, 206 pages
isbn 83-06024-44-3
Rights sold
Denmark (Fremad)
Macedonia (Antolog)
Norwegen (Cappelen)
Slovakia (Aspekt)
Prizes
Nike Literary Prize 2002 –
Readers’ Choice
Page 30 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 31 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Olga Tokarczuk,
The Journey of the People of the Book
Olga Tokarczuk’s first novel tells of the secret association of people who intend to find the Holy Book which God was supposed to
have given Adam. The novel’s action takes place in the seventeenth
century in France and Spain. The plot framework is made up of the
adventures in search of the Book. The journey is an allegory about
a man helpless in the face of the mystery of existence, the history
of human illusions and disappointments. The second edition of
The Journey of the People of the Book was amended by the author.
Olga Tokarczuk, The Cupboard
Book details
Podróż ludzi księgi, novel
wab 1996, 3 editions, 215 pages
isbn 83-87021-20-2
Rights sold
Denmark (Fremad)
Hungary (Europa)
Romania (Polirom)
Russia (NLO )
Serbia (Nolit)
Page 32 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Our world is a riddle. The objects and places we come across can
mean more than we may expect. Olga Tokarczuk observes us
from the least obvious position in three superbly constructed
short stories.
Book details
Szafa, short stories
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2005
3 editions, 45 pages
isbn 83-90028-18-2
Rights sold
Croatia (Naklada MD )
Germany (DVA )
India (Rajkamal Prakashan)
Page 33 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Selected reviews
Primeval and Other Times
The hard passage of an imaginary village through a century of
conflict, distant coups and decay. Overlooking all is a vain selfish God who has become thoroughly bored with mankind and
who must play second fiddle in Ms Tokarczuk’s pantheistic world.
(“The Economist”)
An epic novel drawing on magic realism creating a world permeated with ancient myths but firmly rooted in the present. (“Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” )
Primeval and Other Times is a carefully wrought fictional exploration of the light and dark elements of being. Tokarczuk’s strong
voice and meticulous writing have brought these stories into existence making Primeval its own place with a compelling intergenerational drama that is set within the context of a history we
know. Olga Tokarczuk’s novel tells important stories that will be
of interest to anyone who is a student of human nature and history and who has ever wondered how mythologies develop; and
Primeval and Other Times should be read by everyone because literature is one way we remember and learn from the past. (“Tarpaulin Sky Reviews” )
With House of Day, House of Night, her first full-length work
here, Olga Tokarczuk can rightfully take her place among these
writers. It is not so much a novel as a collection of linked short
narratives, found stories, hagiography and incidental observations
and is a delight to read – wonderfully inventive and by turns comic,
tragic and wise. […]
Tokarczuk’s prose is simple and unadorned. She tells her stories with a natural fluency that easily accommodates the hopes,
drudgery and absurdities of the world she is describing. Real lives
mingle with the imagined, dreams with day, past with present in
an entirely plausible way. A lot of nasty things happen and many
people die but the tone is by no means gloomy in tone. As Marta,
the voice of folk wisdom in the book, points out: ’If death were
nothing but bad, people would stop dying immediately’. House of
Day, House of Night opens its doors on a very fresh and vibrant
Polish talent. (Philip Marsden, “The Observer” )
House of Day, House of Night
Olga Torkarczuk claims her place among the greats of Polish letters with House of Day, House of Night.
What other nation can boast two living Nobel laureates – Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz – and, in the late Zbigniew
Herbert, a poet at least their equal? Add to these Ryszard Kapuscinski, Slawomir Mrozek and Pawel Huelle and the debt we owe
to Polish letters becomes clear. It’s a distinctive list that draws on
a powerful collective faith and an irony that often seems the only sane approach to the cruel joke of Polish history.
Page 34 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 35 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Jerzy Pilch
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Pilch’s antic sensibility confirms that he is
the compatriot of Witold Gombrowicz, the
Polish maestro of absurdist pranks.
Jerzy Pilch
Jerzy Pilch, a Cracovian born in the town of Wisła in 1952, is a prose
writer, playwright, columnist and scriptwriter. He graduated from
Polish studies at the Jagiellonian University and wrote columns for
the weekly “Tygodnik Powszechny” until 1999 and then for “Hustler”, “Polityka”, “Dziennik” and “Przekrój”.
His Wyznania twórcy pokątnej literatury erotycznej (Confessions of
an Author of Illicit Erotic Literature) won the Kościelski Foundation
Prize in 1989. Shortlisted seven times for the Nike Literary Prize,
he received it in 2001 for Pod Mocnym Aniołem (The Mighty Angel).
The book was recently adapted for the stage by Magda Umer. He
won the Polityka Passport in 2008. The author of Spis cudzołożnic.
Proza podróżna (List of Adulteresses. Travel Prose), which was adapted for the screen by Jerzy Stuhr.
Selected prizes:
··
··
··
··
The Kościelski Foundation Prize – 1989
Polityka Passport – 1998
Nike Literary Prize – 2001
Nike Literary Prize shortlist – 1998, 1999, 2007
Page 39 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Selected bibliography
Jerzy Pilch, Many Demons
·· Wyznania twórcy pokątnej literatury erotycznej (Confessions of
an Author of Illicit Erotic Literature, 1988)
·· Spis cudzołożnic (List of Adulteresses, 1993)
·· Tysiąc spokojnych miast (A Thousand Peaceful Cities, 1997)
·· Bezpowrotnie utracona leworęczność (Irretrievably Lost LeftHandedness, 1998)
·· Pod Mocnym Aniołem (Mighty Angel, 2000)
·· Upadek człowieka pod Dworcem Centralnym (The Fall of Man in
Front of the Central Station, 2002)
·· Miasto utrapienia (Sorrowful City, 2004)
·· Narty Ojca Świętego (The Holy Father’s Skis, 2005)
·· Moje pierwsze samobójstwo (My First Suicide, 2006)
·· Marsz Polonia (Poland Marches On, 2008)
·· Dziennik (Journal, 2012)
·· Inne rozkosze (His Current Woman, 1995, 2013)
·· Wiele demonów (Many Demons, 2013)
“We all like and know how to tell stories but when you do it, it is
a true festival of storytelling!” Tlołka the governor told Somnambulmeister the organist.
Page 40 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Jerzy Pilch’s first novel in five years is indeed a celebration of storytelling: it is wise and vivid, told in an extraordinarily rich language, full of surprising turns of events and delectable details. It is
as panoramic as One Hundred Years of Solitude and peopled with
familiar, if bizarre, figures. It tells of important, if not the most important, and ultimate matters.
Book details
Wiele demonów, novel
Wielka Litera 2013, 480 pages
ISBN 978-83-63387-91-4
Rights available
World
We giggle as we read how the Governor is trying to kiss the hand of
Grandma Zuzanna who is hysterically resisting his attempts, how
they celebrate and argue by Mr Wzmożek’s coffin which cannot be
moved out of the house, how they play tangos on combs and bottles. Laughter often dies on our lips: this world is gone. And so will
be ours. This is the fact we do not want to but have to acknowledge.
Pilch’s important book helps us in doing so.
Page 41 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Jerzy Pilch, Journal
Jerzy Pilch, His Current Woman
DOwcIpNa OpOwIEść O KłOpOtach wyNIKających
Z pOgONI Za pRZyjEmNOścIamI
Paweł Kohoutek, niezmordowany poszukiwacz erotycznych przygód,
każdą kobietę mami opowieściami o wielkich wspólnych planach
na przyszłość. W tym właśnie tkwi sekret jego powodzenia
u niewiast. Jednak reputacja donżuana zostaje pewnego dnia
wystawiona na ciężką próbę, bowiem do rodzinnego domu Kohoutka,
w którym mieszka z żoną i dzieckiem, niespodziewanie przyjeżdża
jego „aktualna kobieta”.
Pisząc o tej książce, krytycy porównują Pilcha do Hrabala oraz Kundery.
czytelników znużonych współczesną literaturą piękną.
Projekt okładki: Janusz Staszczyk, fot. ©Condé Nast archive/Corbis/FotoChannels
Jerzy Pilch – krakowianin urodzony w Wiśle w 1952 r.,
mieszka w Warszawie. Jeden z najwybitniejszych i najpoczytniejszych
współczesnych pisarzy polskich, autor powieści, dramatów
i scenariuszy, popularny felietonista i memuarysta. Siedmiokrotnie
nominowany do nagrody Nike, otrzymał ją w 2001 roku
za powieść Pod Mocnym Aniołem. Jego najważniejsze książki
to Wyznania twórcy pokątnej literatury erotycznej, Spis cudzołożnic,
Upadek człowieka pod Dworcem Centralnym, Miasto utrapienia, Jerzy Pilch
I słusznie. Kohoutek i jego miłosne perypetie ożywią i rozbawią
INNE
ROZKOSZE
Jerzy Pilch
Moje pierwsze samobójstwo, Marsz Polonia i Dziennik.
www.facebook.com/WielkaLitera
Cena 29,90 zł
KSIążKa doStęPNa W WerSJI e-booK
inne rozkosze_okl.indd 1
One of Poland’s most outstanding and popular contemporary writers
finally reveals the full content of the journal he has kept for the past
few years. Famous for his bravado style of storytelling, loved as an
author of dramas and screenplays and widely read as a columnist, in
the Journal he presents himself as a memory keeper par excellence.
His memoirs are not a record of a humdrum everyday life, a litany
of diseases and ailments or a list of awards and distinctions. There
is no tiring soul-searching and constant moaning about the world
and other people that seems to be a usual feature of journals published by famous writers. Instead, there are daily walks down Hoża
and Krucza Streets to the Trzech Krzyży Square, daily press reading,
meetings with readers and friends.
Pilch’s journal reads like one of his novels. It is a narrative where you
will find Adam Małysz and the reading of the Bible, the Avatar and
Joyce, mother and father, Kraków and Warsaw, Catholics and Evangelicals, and needless to say – football. Pilch takes the opportunity to clarify the misunderstandings that have dogged him for years:
“I’ve always dreamed of becoming something of a writing clerk but
instead I’ve been branded a good-for-nothing, a party goer and God
knows who else”. There are also disarming confessions: “I know that
a true supporter stands by his club no matter what. But I’ve realised
that only a stubborn fool will stand by Cracovia. I’m too old for such
perhaps noble but intrinsically insane stubbornness”.
Book details
Dziennik, journal
Wielka Litera 2012, 464 pages
ISBN 978-83-63387-05-1
Rights available
World
Prizes
Shortlisted for the Angelus
Central European Literature
Award 2012
This is a comic story of troubles resulting from the search for
pleasures. Paweł Kohoutek, a talented vet and even more talented, albeit inexplicably melancholic, collector of erotic experiences, woos women with his nostalgic stories of the Cieszyn land inhabited by Protestants. His methods are surprisingly effective but
the reputation and even life of the Lutheran lady-killer is one day
put to a risk. There is an unexpected visitor to his family house
in which he lives with his wife, children, parents, grandparents
and countless relatives and tenants: Kohoutek’s “current woman”
is knocking on his door...
2012-09-03 13:11:00
Book details
Inne rozkosze, novel
Wielka Litera 2013, 174 pages
ISBN 978-83-63387-35-8
Rights available
World
Longlisted for the Gdynia Literary Prize 2013
The book bears Pilch’s signature style of irony mixed with a fresh
and bold outlook on the world and uncompromising dedication to
probing both everyday and ultimate matters. And, as is always the
case with Pilch’s book, it offers an irresistible pleasure of reading.
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Fiction
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Sylwia Chutnik, Sly Ones
A modern picaresque novel from the author of A Baby and Pocket
Female Atlas. Four women from the Warsaw district of Mokotów
decide to take justice into their own hand: quite literary, as none
of them thinks twice of fighting with their bare fists. They operate under the cover of night, an ideal time for vendetta. Brutal husbands and greedy developers – beware! It is a story of Warsaw by
night, death and a perfect revenge. Both sad and funny, the book
is also a contribution to the discussion on women and the meaning of being Polish. Illustrated by Marta Zabłocka.
Book details
Cwaniary, novel
Świat Książki 2012, 240 pages
isbn 978-83-273-0187-1
Rights sold
Czech Republic (Argo)
Sylwia Chutnik (b. 1979) is a writer, columnist and social activist.
A graduate of Gender Studies from the University of Warsaw. The
President of the MaMa Foundation promoting mother rights in Poland, and a member of a non-formal feminist group Porozumienie
Kobiet 8 Marca. A Warsaw city tour guide. Published in many journals and collective works. The winner of the Polityka Passport in
Literature in 2008 and the Social Nobel Prize by Ashoka. Short-listed for the Nike Award 2009. She lives in Warsaw.
Page 47 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Sylwia Chutnik, Pocket Female Atlas
Sylwia Chutnik, A Baby
It is 1944. In the village of Gołąbki near Warsaw, Stefania Mutter
denounces two Polish women to Germans, condemning them to
death. Half a century later her granddaughter Danuta gives birth to
Dzidzia: a physically and mentally deformed girl. Dzidzia is ... “the
History’s revenge” and a worry. Will she perhaps become a saint in
the local church? A shocking, controversial story about our national
character, complexes and stupidity. A climate of a macabre dream.
Book details
Dzidzia, novel
Świat Książki 2010, 176 pages
isbn 978-83-247-1889-4
Rights available
World
Sylwia Chutnik (b. 1979) is a writer, columnist and social activist.
A graduate of Gender Studies from the University of Warsaw. The
President of the MaMa Foundation promoting mother rights in Poland, and a member of a non-formal feminist group Porozumienie
Kobiet 8 Marca. A Warsaw city tour guide. Published in many journals and collective works. The winner of the Polityka Passport in
Literature in 2008 and the Social Nobel Prize by Ashoka. Short-listed for the Nike Award 2009. She lives in Warsaw.
The foursome of main characters, representing different generations,
is connected by the fact that they all live in the same building. Their
separate worlds come together into a single reality. Chutnik tries to
get at why Maryśka has gone mad, why Maria decides to die, why
Marian is incapable of having a relationship with a woman, why
the teenage Marysia is transformed into a terrorist at night-time.
Maria still can’t quite recover from her war-time trauma. She
was a brave liaison officer in the Warsaw Uprising, spared by some
miracle, and yet she has ended up in absolute solitude. Ailing and
helpless, she musters up the courage for her last act of protest, realizing, however, that her suicidal demonstration will go unnoticed.
The case of Maria reflects the fate of bygone heroes who at the
ends of their lives are doomed to oblivion and a kind of terrible,
hand-to-mouth existence. The other fates in the book are equally
moving, although Chutnik describes them in a tragic-comic tone.
(Marta Mizuro)
The most interesting debut of the year. (Justyna Sobolewska, “Dziennik”)
Book details
Kieszonkowy atlas kobiet, novel
Ha-art 2008, 232 pages
isbn 978-83-89911-99-5
Rights sold
Czech Republic (Agite Fra)
Germany (Vliegen Verlag –
Polen+)
Hungary (Typotex)
Lithuania (Kitos Knygos)
Russia (NLO )
Serbia (Plato)
Slovakia (Ladon)
Prizes
Polityka Passport 2008
Book of the Year 2008 – Polish
Radio Channel 3
An exceptionally fine debut. (Kazimiera Szczuka, “Gazeta Wyborcza”)
What Sylwia Chutnik has achieved is a kind of a revolution in Polish feminism with its narrow focus on the promotion of Western
slogans through academic discussion or the media and its isolation from the Polish realities. Chutnik’s novel talks about the common life of a town, presenting bazaar realities, small-talk and everyday living. (Anna Nasiłowska)
Sylwia Chutnik (b. 1979) is a writer, columnist and social activist.
A graduate of Gender Studies from the University of Warsaw. The
President of the MaMa Foundation promoting mother rights in Poland, and a member of a non-formal feminist group Porozumienie
Kobiet 8 Marca. A Warsaw city tour guide. Published in many journals and collective works. The winner of the Polityka Passport in
Literature in 2008 and the Social Nobel Prize by Ashoka. Short-listed for the Nike Award 2009. She lives in Warsaw.
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Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało, Eclipse
Andrzej Muszyński, Baulk
Andrzej Muszyński is a new strong voice in Polish prose. Baulk, his
debut collection of stories, is a literary treat and a moving picture
of the provincial Poland and the life in the borderland. It is the story of a world which is dying because it is not fast enough to keep
pace with the modernity, yet unable to give up its values. Andrzej
Muszyński has been chosen by this world as its chronicler and poet.
Book details
Miedza, short stories
Czarne 2013, 144 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-568-9
Rights available
World
Andrzej Muszyński (b. 1984), the winner of the first scholarship from
the Herodot Foundation in the memory of Ryszard Kapuściński
and the winner of the competition for the best short story at the
Wrocław International Storytelling Festival. A contributor to press
and literary magazines. His travelling serves him as a pretext to return to his provincial roots, which he explores in his prose. A winner
of national travel awards, e.g. for his traverse of the Minkébé forest
in Gabon. He also completed a solo crossing of the Atacama desert.
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When an ex-policewoman – a strong and independent woman who
does not hesitate to punch those who deserve it – finds a job at
a literary publishing house as a story researcher, one may expect
anything but humdrum stories from behind a dust-covered desk.
Ewa is an indefatigable seeker of curious stories, a faithful confidante of eccentrics and a comforter of picturesque failures. The
non-conventional and the absurd are escalated to the degree that
we are no longer surprised by confessions of her interlocutors, including Anna Jantar and Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało masterfully juggles with pop culture
clichés and plays with the model of feminine sexuality. Her strong,
sensitive and liberated protagonist is a Polish Lara Croft. Mad, unpredictable and going towards self-destruction. Towards an eclipse.
Book details
Zaćmienie, novel
Czarne 2013, 200 pages
ISBN 978-83-7536-663-1
Rights available
World
Agnieszka Wolny-Hamkało (born 1979), poet and author of children’s books. Co-host of “Hurtownia książek“, a literary programme
on Polish television in 2009–2011.
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Kaja Malanowska, Look at Me, Klara!
Agata Jaroszuk acted like a magnet. When Klara was seven, she
could not resist doggedly following her in the school corridor,
watch her during classes, beg for her company... Years later, Klara
finds “the only one” and he finds another woman. Klara discovers
her blog. The feeling of vicious matrimonial jealousy turns into
a growing fascination. What will come of it all? Can a single meeting change the lives of a trio of people for good? Where is the borderline between stalking and fascination? Is no love better than
excessive love? The third book from the author of the widely discussed Small Madnesses of Everyday Life, skilfully combines psychological prose with an intricately woven narrative and the concise style of today’s blogs.
Kaja Malanowska (b. 1974), a biologist, she wrote a PhD in bacterial genetics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She
works with refugee children as a teacher. A columnist of “Krytyka polityczna.“
Kaja Malanowska,
Small Madnesses of Everyday Life
Book details
Patrz na mnie, Klaro!, novel
Krytyka Polityczna 2012, 280
pages
isbn 978-83-62467-79-2
Rights available
World
Prizes
Shortlisted for the Nike
Literary Prize 2013
What is the recipe for a normal happy life? A loving husband and
child, good education, good job and an apartment in a big city. A life
straight from glossy magazines. The heroine of Kaja Malanowska’s
book has it all; why is she not happy then? Instead of following the
current, she drifts away, not capable of coping with her own life.
Is she immature, hysterical or perhaps mad? Or is it so that there
is no gaping divide between “normal” and “misfit” but just a crack
that can easily be crossed?
Kaja Malanowska (b. 1974), a biologist, she wrote a PhD in bacterial genetics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She
works with refugee children as a teacher. A columnist of “Krytyka polityczna.“
Book details
Drobne szaleństwa dnia
codziennego, novel
Krytyka Polityczna 2010, 240
pages
isbn 978-83-61006-84-8
Rights available
World
Other titles by this author:
Imigracje (Immigrations, 2011)
Other titles by this author:
Imigracje (Immigrations, 2011)
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Magdalena Tulli, Italian Pumps
Eustachy Rylski, Next to Julia
“Life likes it when we stand up to it and rewards us for our opposition”, says Eustachy Rylski in his new, surprising book.
The story is narrated by Jan Ruczaj, an old man – the author’s peer,
let us add – who was twenty years old in 1963. In the unforgettable, hot summer of that year, the town S. has a surprising visitor:
Julia Neider, the former Russian teacher who years ago vanished
into thin air. With her face disfigured in some mysterious circumstances, the beautiful Julia turns to her former pupil for help. Janek,
who works for a forwarding company and is infatuated with Julia, helps her flee the country: he steals a lorry and kills the widely
hated night watchman. The police, in the person of the enigmatic
Captain, arrest Janek and then… let him walk free. Yet nothing happens without reason: life will never be as it used to and years will
pass before Julia’s dark secret is revealed.
Book details
Obok Julii, novel
Wielka Litera 2013, 400 pages
ISBN 978-83-63387-89-1
Rights available
World
Other titles by this author:
Stankiewicz. Powrót (Stankiewicz and the Return, 1984)
Warunek (Condition, 2005)
Next to Julia is a bitterly soul-searching book and an engaging psychological thriller about the paradoxes of human nature, history,
and time that does not work in our favour.
Eustachy Rylski (b. 1944), a novelist, playwright and screenwriter.
He published his first novel in 1984. Shortlisted in 2006 for the Nike Literary Prize and the Angelus Award for his novel Warunek
(Condition). His books have been translated into Italian, German,
French, Russian, Hungarian and Spanish.
Childhood, to which our memory lends a golden sheen in later
years, usually manifests itself as a land of lost happiness. Not in
Magdalena Tulli’s prose; here, it is a nightmare. The narrator of Tulli’s stories shares the fate of the children of Holocaust victims. Her
case is that of the narrator of Art Spiegelman’s Maus: just as he was
the involuntary victim of his father, who had been saved from the
annihilation, she too is the victim of her own mother, a former inmate of Auschwitz. It is only from conversations with her dying
mother, ever more absent, progressively prey to Alzheimer’s, that
years later she learns about her family’s past.
These moving stories, written with a chill, elegant precision, are
the fruit of their conversations. They are an act of mourning for
Tulli’s mother, but even more, for the childhood she was denied.
They constitute an attempt to confront an inherited trauma, to cope
with fears that become new idiosyncrasies. Irony appears here as
a medication applied to oneself so as to pass safely through the
minefield of a wounded memory.
Book details
Włoskie szpilki, prose
Nisza 2011, 144 pages
isbn 978-83-62795-09-3
Rights sold
Czech Republic (radio reading
rights)
Lithuania (Lithuanian Writers'
Union Publishers)
Prizes
Gdynia Literary Prize 2012
In Tulli’s prose we encounter the logic arising from the isolation
of the little girl, left to her own resources by an Italian father
who spends his time between Warsaw and Milan, and a mother whose emotions were left behind the fence of a concentration
camp. With her troublesome bilingualism, her strange, un-Polish
last name, her better-quality but unkempt clothes, her inability to
make friends and her lack of self-confidence, she becomes an easy
target for other children. The image of the school in this book is
that of a totalitarian institution, an image that serves as a metaphor for Polish society in the Cold War. And as always in Tulli’s
work, metaphor carries the value of a realistic argument. (Marek
Zaleski, courtesy of the Book Institute)
Magdalena Tulli (b. 1955), a writer and translator (of Marcel Proust,
Italo Calvino and Fleur Jaeggy). She has won the Kościelski Foundation Prize in 1995 and has been nominated for the Nike Literary
Prize twice.
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Inga Iwasiów, He Died On Me
I wrote this book over the course of few months after my father died.
The narrative has the rhythm of longing and sorrow. My purpose
was neither to heal myself nor to turn experience into literature.
I wrote this book because there was nothing else I could do. I did, of
course, everyday chores and the necessity of those chores is one of
the elements of my narrative: adults go into a despair mode after
they have done their due. I comforted myself with the image of my
dad who would have called me immediately after reading the book.
But this is horrible comfort as he would have praised me for the description of his own death.
Inga Iwasiów, Cutting It Short
Book details
Umarł mi. Notatnik żałoby,
Czarne 2013, 128 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-564-1
Rights available
World
Inga Iwasiów (b. 1963), professor of literature, writer, researcher, essayist, and literary and theatre critic. Author of widely recognised
monographs, dissertations, essays and columns. She has published
two volumes of poetry, short stories and three novels: Bambino
(shortlisted for the Nike Literary Prize), its sequel Towards the Sun
(Ku słońcu) and Cutting It Short (Na krótko).
This book takes us on a tour of a mysterious city of the future, away
from the European Union, where it is possible to shed the burden
of everyday life but also go berserk with freedom.
Two women, Ruta and Sylwia, meet at a hairdresser’s salon. This is
the beginning of an interesting relation: each of the women needs
to think over her life, uneasy relations with men and career decisions... The world around them is transformed into one big museum; their memories hurt and fail them as they look for a key to
understanding their life decisions while reconstructing the notso-distant past of Eastern Europe.
Book details
Na krótko, novel
Wielka Litera 2012, 368 pages
ISBN 978-83-63387-09-9
Rights available
World
On the one hand, Inga Iwasiów tells the story of a crisis – of the
European Union, the academic community, tradition, memory,
marriage – but on the other writes about people who make efforts
to evade a crisis. Women need each other’s support – if nothing
else, in the form of stories exchanged at a hairdresser’s. Alienated
people look for company to feel part of a community. Burdened
with responsibility, they are relieved to yield to decisions that are
made by others; this gives them a moment of respite.
Inga Iwasiów (b. 1963), professor of literature, writer, researcher, essayist, and literary and theatre critic. Author of widely recognised
monographs, dissertations, essays and columns. She has published
two volumes of poetry, short stories and three novels: Bambino
(shortlisted for the Nike Literary Prize), its sequel Towards the Sun
(Ku słońcu) and Cutting It Short (Na krótko).
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Page 57 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | gancz[email protected]
Mikołaj Łoziński, The Book
Thirty-something Mikołaj Łoziński has written the awesome Książka.
Behind the unassuming title lurks an autobiographical novel
about three generations of Jewish-Polish intelligentsia, caught
up in 20th-century history. Pre-war Communists; Holocaust survivors; the beneficiaries of Communist Poland; victims of the 1968
anti-Semitic witch-hunt, when they were ordered to “get the fuck
out”; and finally supporters of the democratic opposition. It’s also about their political activism and unstable family life where
no one ever behaved normally.
Książka is a totally new take on the “family history”. In a series of microscenes and dialogues organised non-chronologically,
seemingly quite trivial but streaked with tragedy and lit up here
and there with absurd humour, Łoziński talks about the banality
of love, treachery, illness, maturity, aging and parting.
Using a mixture of ruthlessness and tenderness and simple language that never lapses into cliché, the author manages to communicate a sense of reality rarely achieved in Polish prose.
And although the threat of żydokomuna (Jewish Communism)
is not the most important of the entire book, the book is also
original in this respect. Perhaps the younger generation will be
mature enough to talk without politically tinged emotion about
one of the most taboo subjects of Poland’s recent history? (Juliusz Kurkiewicz)
Mikołaj Łoziński, Reisefieber
Book details
Książka, novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2011
180 pages
isbn 978-83-08-04587-9
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Balkani)
Croatia (Meandar)
Czech Republic (Havran)
Hungary (Europa)
Italy (Atmosphere Libri)
Latvia (Mansards)
Slovenia (Modrijan)
Prizes
Polityka Passport 2011
Mikołaj Łoziński (b. 1980), writer, graduate of the Sorbonne. Reci­
pient of the Kościelski Foundation Prize. His debut novel Reisefieber (2006) was very well received by critics as well as readers.
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Reisefieber was hailed as one of most interesting and promising first
novels by a young author since Dorota Masłowska’s Snow White and
Russian Red. In his debut novel Łoziński confirmed that as a writer he is mature beyond his age and a fine craftsman. He also surprised his readers by stepping outside the charmed circle of traditionally Polish subject matter. The book is low-key and on a small
scale, with no noisy, controversial topics from the headlines and
no stylistic fireworks either. The main character is 38-year-old Daniel, who lives in the United States, a former journalist trying to realise his literary ambitions. Following the death of his mother, with
whom he has broken off relations many years earlier, he flies to
Paris, the city of his childhood and youth, to put her affairs in order. The journey to France changes into a trip back to his roots. As
he discovers his mother’s secrets, he also tries to sort out his own
life and to recover its purpose. But Reisefieber is not just the story of a man battling with the onset of a midlife crisis. It is also the
tragic story of a woman who has sacrificed herself to the good of
her child, who rejects her, and the family traumas that have left
their mark on successive generations, the secrets that destroy the
lives of people who know nothing about them, and emotional
blockage, the inability to communicate, which causes close relatives only to be capable of hurting each other, even though they
love one another.
Book details
Reisefieber, novel
Wydawnictwo Literackie 2011
164 pages
isbn 83-240-0661-3
Rights sold
Czech Republic (Dybbuk)
Germany (DVA )
Hungary (Europa)
Latvia (1/4 Satori)
Slovenia (Zalozba Educa)
Russia (Fluid)
Ukraine (Piramida)
Mikołaj Łoziński (b. 1980), writer, graduate of the Sorbonne. Reci­
pient of the Kościelski Foundation Prize. His debut novel Reisefieber (2006) was very well received by critics as well as readers.
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Justyna Bargielska, Stillbirthlets
Justyna Bargielska, The Little Foxes
Two women live on a suburban estate consisting of very large
houses: one is Agnieszka, a single academic and ardent feminist,
and the other is Magda, who is keen on family life and is realizing
her ideals by having babies. Meanwhile, there’s a a knife-wielding
bandit called Pajda hiding in the nearby woods, with whom each
of our heroines has a peculiar love affair – at different times and
in different circumstances, but because of similar needs.
There are also lots of secondary characters including: Kula,
whose two-year-old twin daughters were killed in a car crash, but
in the very large house no one believes they ever existed; Renata
the hairdresser who, unable to fall pregnant, communicates with
the spirit of a client’s dead daughter; the ideal blonde couple, to
whom after ten years of blissful life together a terminally ill child
is born. And so on.
The framing device for these events is the search for one of the
residents of the very large house, who goes missing along with
the first snowfall, but is then found along with the last snowfall
as a frozen corpse, on a little roof above the swiming pool. When
the notice posted in the stairwell saying that the tenant has gone
missing is replaced by the announcement of his death, the romance
is at an end too – for Magda, Agnieszka, and Pajda.
How is one to live, when evil is close at hand and God is far
away? When the way of life which we were prepared to pay for
in blood turns out to be as boring as any other? When as we take
our daily walk with the dog in the woods, we cannot be sure who
we will be on the way home, or whether we will get home at all?
Don’t expect this book to come up with the answers... (Courtesy of the Book Institute)
Book details
Małe lisy, novel
Czarne 2013, 112 pages
ISBN 978-83-7536-505-4
Rights sold
Germany (Klak Verlag)
Justyna Bargielska (b. 1977), poet, author of three books of poems.
For the last one she received the Gdynia Literary Prize 2010. Her
poetry has been translated into Slovenian and English.
Stillbirthlets is a collection of 43 prose miniatures of modest dimensions. The pieces – most of which are no longer than a single
type-written page – link the narrator with several themes running through the book. The narrator is a young, married woman –
by vocation and passion a poet – bringing up two small children
and trying to reconcile her domestic duties with her literary work.
Bargielska strives to synthesise these two realities. On the one
hand she portrays the everyday existence of Justyna (her narrator and heroine), and on the other she draws out metaphors from
the most ordinary experiences, interweaving them with dreams
and fantasies. This first-time writer of prose is clearly searching
for a distinctive literary form; she would like – one surmises – to
organise the text in such a way as to talk about ordinary things
in an original way.
The motifs cementing this collection revolve around the experience of pregnancy, giving birth, and motherhood. First and foremost, there is the title motif. Stillbirthlet is a neologism coined
by Bargielska and derived from a Latin medical term (“obsoleta”
is a synonym for a stillbirth). In Justyna’s world the experience
of losing a baby seems a central and critical one, a figure of loss
in general. As such, it does not only represent a female or marital
drama – but something more. Influenced by this experience, the
heroine begins to pose fundamental questions: about the meaning of life, the concept of happiness and about her own identity. It should nonetheless be stressed that everything played out
here is only hinted at, as it were, through fleeting images, reflections or fantasies. The events the main character participates in,
the stories other people tell her, and all her individual experiences
and reflections are “encrypted”, possibly through fear of their direct expression, but maybe owing to a conviction that what the
author would like to communicate is inexpressible. (Dariusz Nowacki; courtesy of the Book Institute)
Book details
Obsoletki, prose
Czarne 2010, 92 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-226-8
Rights sold
Czech Republic (Protimluv)
Prizes
Gdynia Literary Prize 2011
Shortlisted for the Nike Literary Prize 2011
Justyna Bargielska (b. 1977), poet, author of three books of poems.
For the last one she received the Gdynia Literary Prize 2010. Her
poetry has been translated into Slovenian and English.
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Krzysztof Varga, Sawdust
Krzysztof Varga’s latest book is a daring satire on modernity. The
author invites us to join the main character, a 50-something travelling salesman, in deconstructing the things we find annoying: fellow train passengers, smells in the staircase, team-building courses
and yuppies in cafes. Spewing the venom of hatred, Piotr mercilessly exposes the weaknesses and quirks of a contemporary Pole. He
draws up full-blooded and painfully faithful portraits of his toxic
parents and greedy ex-wife, pathetic nouveau riches, kebab lovers
and corporate weaklings. His piercing gaze penetrates hypocrisy –
an armour which is intended to shield the last shreds of dignity and offer protection against harm. All the characters are unfulfilled, clumsy in hiding their disappointments in life, resentful and
scared to death with the prospect of loneliness.
The resultant picture is distorted, grotesque and irresistibly
funny. Sawdust is a tour de force in fiction – an excellent, cynical and brilliant piece of entertainment not only for sociopaths.
A cautionary tale…
Krzysztof Varga, Independence Avenue
Book details
Trociny, novel
Czarne 2012, 368 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-366-1
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Paradox)
Czech Republic (Protimluv)
Serbia (Plato)
Krzysztof Varga (b. 1968), a writer, literary critic and journalist. He
studied Polish language and literature at the University of Warsaw.
His debut was Chłopaki nie płaczą (Boys Don’t Cry), a short n
­ ovel
about a group of friends in the early ‘90s in Warsaw. Between 2002
and 2006 he worked as chief editor for culture in the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”. His main books include the novels Tequila (Tequila),
Śmiertelność (Mortality), Nagrobek z lastryko (Terazzo Tombstone)
and Aleja Niepodległości (Independence Avenue) as well as the non-fiction title Gulasz z turula (Turul Goulash).
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A modern parable about the mystery of human existence.
Independence Avenue is a major Warsaw street that runs through
Mokotów, a district that Krystian Apostate, the main character in
Varga’s latest novel, rarely leaves. He was born there in 1968, and
it is his permanent home. The novel describes a twenty-five years
long friendship between Krystian and Jakub Fidelis; their experiences, which at first are shared, later become extremely different.
Fidelis is a success – a dancer and celebrity, constantly featured
in colour magazines, but Apostate is a failed painter, a conceptual artist who has squandered his talent. While Fidelis enjoys fame
and all sorts of luxury, Apostate is stuck in a state of lethargy; his
life is limited to drinking beer and rummaging around on pornographic websites.
The meaning of the name of the Warsaw street is metaphorical – Varga aims to describe the fortunes of the generation that
entered adulthood at the start of Polish independence. Varga asks
how this freedom has been put to use, especially at the level of
the individual.
Book details
Aleja Niepodległości, novel
Czarne 2010, 272 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-135-3
Rights sold
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Hungary (Europa)
Italy (Barbes Editore)
Macedonia (Antolog)
Serbia (Plato)
This is a terrifying and at the same time immensely funny book.
[...] Varga matures like Hungarian wine. He gets better and better.
(Andrzej Stasiuk)
Krzysztof Varga (b. 1968), a writer, literary critic and journalist. He
studied Polish language and literature at the University of Warsaw.
His debut was Chłopaki nie płaczą (Boys Don’t Cry), a short n
­ ovel
about a group of friends in the early ‘90s in Warsaw. Between 2002
and 2006 he worked as chief editor for culture in the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”. His main books include the novels Tequila (Tequila),
Śmiertelność (Mortality), Nagrobek z lastryko (Terazzo Tombstone)
and Aleja Niepodległości (Independence Avenue) as well as the non-fiction title Gulasz z turula (Turul Goulash).
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Wojciech Nowicki, Little Rooms
This book is a slow-paced journey through time and space.
Wojciech Nowicki explores the history, memories, fears and injustices experienced by his ancestors hailing from Poland’s Eastern
borderlands to weave a universal picture of longing and fear. It
is also an account of travels to the world’s metropolises, towns,
villages and hamlets, a story of roaming the faraway lands (“with
a home in your head and a feeling of homelessness”). Excellent,
meditative prose.
Anna Dziewit-Meller, Disco
Book details
Salki, prose
Czarne 2013, 224 pages
ISBN 978-83-7536-515-3
Rights available
World
Paweł Kozioł, a cynical and calculating man, has embarked on
a career of a dance teacher in a primary school somewhere in
Silesia. In the drab reality of the 1990s he could just as well be
a visitor from a different planet. Now that he has unlimited access to little, sweet and innocent girls it is even easier for him to
put his hideous plans into work. But are his victims as defenceless as he thinks?
Book details
Disko, novel
Wielka Litera 2012, 288 pages
ISBN 978-83-63387-11-2
Rights available
World
An original, strong, fully-fledged novel. (Krystyna Kofta)
Wojciech Nowicki (b. 1968) works as a journalist, translator, curator and photographer. He also runs the culinary reviews column in the Cracow edition of the daily
“Gazeta Wyborcza”. Co-founder of the Imago Mundi Foundation
devoted to promoting photography, member of the programme
board of the Cracow Photomonth.
On wolves in sheep’s clothing, school depravation, the hypocrisy of bigots, the Silesia of the 1990s and its dreams of catching up
with the glitzy West – Anna Dziewit-Meller’s new book is a powerful story of what could have but did not happen...
Anna Dziewit-Meller is a radio and television journalist, reporter
and writer and presents her own television programme on literature. She plays the guitar and sings in the women band Andy. Together with her husband, Marcin Meller, she wrote Gaumardżos!
Opowieści z Gruzji (Gaumarjos. Stories from Georgia), a best-selling
travel and reportage book on Georgia. Disko is her first novel.
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Page 65 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Non-Fiction
Polishrights.com | Spring 2014
Artur Domosławski, Death in Amazonia
Domosławski’s first book since Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life. This time
the author returns to the subject in which he is considered one of
the best experts in Poland: Latin America. The perhaps overused
word “thriller” comes to mind: indeed, Death in Amazonia starts
like a thriller and reads like a thriller throughout.
A pair of green activists are killed in a God-forsaken village in
the middle of Amazonia. In a faraway town in the Andes, thugs
of “unknown identity” are hunting a priest who is championing
local people’s rights to land and water. A farmer becomes a lawyer and fights for compensation for the inhabitants of little towns
and villages who have been succumbing to unknown diseases; he
gets a phone message that his younger brother has been found
dead. Artur Domosławski is tracing mysterious deaths of people
battling for the environment and the rights of local populations
in South America. Who stands behind these murders? Do the common people who are simply protecting their land have any chance
of succeeding in their standoff with international corporations
and corrupt governments?
Not always optimistic, the answers paint the picture of today’s
big business, corrupt politics and the dark sides of globalisation.
Portrayed by Domosławski through the stories of individual people, the Amazon Jungle is live and genuine. The author does not
resort to easy slogans in the defence of Amazonia, nor does he
paint an embellished picture of a celebrity flocking to the cause
of Indian tribes. The world he shows is brimming with the energy, despair and hope of the people the reader becomes close to
with each page. Domosławski opens our eyes and demonstrates
the rules that apply also to our world.
Book details
Śmierć w Amazonii, reportage
Wielka Litera 2013, 328 pages
isbn 978-83-64142-13-0
Rights available
World
Artur Domosławski (b. 1967) writes on international politics for the
weekly ”Polityka” and for the Polish edition of ”Le Monde diplomatique”, formerly a reporter for the daily ”Gazeta Wyborcza”. Recipient of the Journalist of the Year award in 2010. A Knight Fellow at
Stanford University in 2005–2006, he is the author of five books,
including the controversial Ryszard Kapuscinski: A life, published
in the UK, France, Holland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Spain.
Page 69 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Teresa Torańska, Smoleńsk
Teresa Torańska’s last – and, in her own words, one of her two
most important books – is a collection of interviews: some previously published, some made specifically for this book. These stories paint the picture of a “post-Smoleńsk” Poland and show how
the Smoleńsk air crash has influenced our society, politics and the
lives of people involved in the Smoleńsk affair. It demonstrates how
the political life in Poland has been shaped by it. Teresa Torańska
worked on this book till the end, not managing to complete just
a few interviews, but the material she assembled provides an important diagnosis of contemporary Poland.
Angelika Kuźniak, Papusza
Book details
Smoleńsk, reportage
Wielka Litera 2013, 560 pages
isbn 978-83-63387-88-4
Rights available
World
Teresa Torańska (1944–2013), worked as a journalist for the popular
weekly ”Kultura”, and then for the leading Polish émigré literary
journal ”Kultura Paryska”. Her book Them: Stalin's Polish Puppets
(Oni) was a breakthrough bestseller that led to frequent parallels
with Oriana Fallaci as a superb interviewer. In her last years she
was a contributor to ”Gazeta Wyborcza.”
Bronisława Wajs. She was known by her Romani name Papusza,
meaning “doll”. A poet discovered by Jerzy Ficowski and applauded
by Julian Tuwim, she became known for her simple poems laden
with longing for nature that have since been the icon of the Roma heritage.
Her popularity soon became her curse. Regarded as a traitor
of the tribal code, she was banished from the Roma world and
spent her life isolated and disdained by fellow Romas. Isolation
took a toll on her body and mind. When she died in 1987, she was
buried away from Roma graves.
The archival evidence uncovered by Angelika Kuźniak casts an
entirely new light on the icon of Roma poetry. Papusza’s diary, her
letters to Jerzy Ficowski and to Julian Tuwim provide also an invaluable source of information on the life of Polish Gypsies: their travels in wagons, the Volhynia massacre, forced settlements, distrust
by Poles and, first and foremost, their love of nature and freedom.
Papusza is an excellent book of reportage about a world which
is no more. And the price one has to pay for being a misfit.
Book details
Papusza, reportage
Czarne 2013, 200 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-501-6
Rights available
World
Angelika Kuźniak is a graduate of cultural studies at the European
University in Frankfurt/Oder. She has contributed to the daily
“Gazeta Wyborcza” since 2000. She has received the Grand Press
award twice: in 2004 and in 2008. Author of a biography of Marlene Dietrich.
Page 70 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 71 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Wojciech Tochman,
Today We’re Going to Draw Death
Wojciech Tochman, Eli, Eli
(with photographs by Grzegorz Wełnicki)
Those who will read Eli, Eli will perhaps no longer be able to travel
like they used to. Wojciech Tochman tells the story of the unknown
Philippines, the world of the poorest of the poor who have lived
for years in the slums and graveyards of Manila. But this book is
not only about them; it is about us, too.
We travel more, we photograph the world more. But we do not
see the things grasped by Tochman in his writings and by Wełnicki
in his photographs. We cannot see what is underneath: pain and
suffering. Why? Because we have become immune to them. Tochman looks through his camera the other way round to scrutinise
us, but also himself, to see how we view a tragedy, how we perceive another person. And he revives our bond of empathy.
Eli, Eli is a book that both accuses and brings hope, or even
maybe a solution to the dilemma of how to behave in the face of
human suffering. A reporter’s attentive eye, ability to challenge
one’s own perceptions and openness to another human being are
of key importance in this task.
Tochman’s dense prose is illustrated by Grzegorz Wełnicki’s excellent, moving pictures. The faces we see are not anonymous;
Tochman tells us the stories of the people depicted in the photographs – every one of them. With his trademark sensitivity known
to the readers of his previous books, he introduces us to the silent
world of a tree woman, to the everyday life of children living in
the graveyard, to the drama of a 14-year old protagonist of a soap
opera which will never be filmed. We are looking at their lives at
such close range that we are finally beginning to feel.
Book details
Eli, Eli, reportage
Czarne 2013, 152 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-519-1
Rights available
World
Other books by Wojciech
Tochman:
Bóg zapłać (God Bless You,
2010) – rights sold to Czech
Republic (Dokoran)
Wściekły pies (The Rabid Dog,
2007) – 1st serial rights sold to
Russia
Schodów się nie pali (Staircases
Don't Burn, 2006)
Córeńka (Beloved Daughter,
2005) – rights sold to Holland
(De Geus)
Today We’re Going to Draw Death shows the scars of the Rwandan
genocide that can still be found today. These scars are the fortunes
of particular individuals, both victims and their neighbours, who
have committed crimes. As in Tochman’s book about Bosnia Like
Eating A Stone, in these dramatic accounts too, graves and long-delayed burials are important. But what matters even more is to gain
insight into the cruel events that were enacted in a country that
can now be seen in its fragile, ostensible normality.
The book has some remarkable heroines, women who out of
pure kindness once tried to hide someone in danger. But there are
other people too, including clerics, whose attitude raises some disturbing questions. Tochman also bids us examine their immature
attitude to the requirements of the border situation. This insight
leaves a painful echo, but we must listen to this sort of echo too.
What for? To learn the lesson that we don’t know what we would
do if we were faced with that kind of situation. As he talks about
dark and terrifying things, at the same time Tochman gives a lesson in courageous sympathy. (Halina Bortnowska)
Wojciech Tochman (b. 1969) is a journalist and writer. His reportage
has been published in English, French, Swedish, Finnish, Russian,
Dutch and Bosnian. With Like Eating a Stone, Tochman was a finalist for the Nike Literary Prize and for the Prix Témoin du Monde,
awarded by Radio France International. He runs the Polish Reportage Institute together with Paweł Goźliński and Mariusz Szczygieł.
Book details
Dzisiaj narysujemy śmierć
reportage
Czarne 2010, 144 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-228-2
Rights sold
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Italy (Keller Editore)
Other books by Wojciech
Tochman:
Bóg zapłać (God Bless You,
2010) – rights sold to Czech
Republic (Dokoran)
Wściekły pies (The Rabid Dog,
2007) – 1st serial rights sold to
Russia
Schodów się nie pali (Staircases
Don't Burn, 2006)
Córeńka (Beloved Daughter,
2005) – rights sold to Holland
(De Geus)
Wojciech Tochman (b. 1969) is a journalist and writer. His reportage
has been published in English, French, Swedish, Finnish, Russian,
Dutch and Bosnian. With Like Eating a Stone, Tochman was a finalist for the Nike Literary Prize and for the Prix Témoin du Monde,
awarded by Radio France International. He runs the Polish Reportage Institute together with Paweł Goźliński and Mariusz Szczygieł.
Page 72 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 73 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Wojciech Tochman, Like Eating a Stone
During four years of the war in Bosnia, over 100 000 people lost
their lives. But it was months, even years, before the mass graves
started to yield up their dead and the process of identification, burial and mourning could begin. For many, the waiting, the searching and the grieving continue to this day.
Here we travel through the ravaged post-war landscape in the
company of a few survivors (mostly women) as they visit the scenes
of their loss: a hall where the clothing of victims is displayed; an
underground cave with its pale jumble of bones; a camp for homeless refugees; a city now abandoned to the ghosts of painful memories; a funeral service where a family finally says goodbye. These
encounters are snapshots and memorials, a feat of powerful reportage told from the viewpoint of people who have lost nearly
everything. With the sensibility [...] of Ryszard Kapuściński, Tochman captures a painful moment in history, as an entire community comes to terms with its raw and recent past. (From the UK
and US editions)
Without judgement or commentary, the book lets the voices of
the survivors relate this harrowing search. The result is a powerful portrayal of a country still suffering from the effects of war.
(“Financial Times”)
[A] superlative work of witness... The prose [...] is devastatingly simple and lucid, relying on the cumulative force of declarative sentences, uncommented quotation, and lists. Such a book could be
written in no other way. (“The Guardian”)
[Tochman’s] style is all the more powerful for its restraint: outrage
speaks terribly for itself, needs no hype, no colour. (“Sunday Times”)
Michał Książek, Yakutsk
Book details
Jakbyś kamień jadła, reportage
Czarne 2008 (3rd ed.), 134 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-043-1
Rights sold
Egypt (Sphinx Agency)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Finland (Like)
Italy (Keller Editore)
Spain (Libros del KO )
UK (Portobello)
Ukraine (Nasz Czas)
USA (Atlas Books)
Edward Piekarski, exiled to Siberia in 1888, compiled a dictionary
of the Yakut language. Wacław Sieroszewski, who came to Siberia ten years earlier, is the author of Twelve years in the country
of the Yakuts , an ethnographic oeuvre that summarises his long
exile. Michał Książek went to Yakutsia of his own will. Following in the footsteps of his great predecessors, he travelled far and
wide in the snow covered land, fascinated by the language and
customs of its peoples.
Ten times bigger than Poland, Yakutsia has fewer than a million inhabitants. As winter lasts for most of the year, Yakuts have
countless names for different types of snow and frost, and it can
be so bitingly cold that the chubby Father Frost has been replaced
in the Yakut language by the Winter Bull.
Inflecting Yakut words for Polish cases, Książek creates something of a grammar of that faraway yet familiar snowy land.
Book details
Jakuck, reportage
Czarne 2013, 248 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-498-9
Rights available
World
Other books by Wojciech
Tochman:
Bóg zapłać (God Bless You,
2010) – rights sold to Czech
Republic (Dokoran)
Michał Książek (b. 1978) is an ornithologist and culture expert and
a guide to Siberia. He spent a few years in Yakutsia. A contributor
to the weekly “Polityka“ and other magazines.
Wściekły pies (The Rabid Dog,
2007) – 1st serial rights sold to
Russia
Schodów się nie pali (Staircases
Don't Burn, 2006)
Córeńka (Beloved Daughter,
2005) – rights sold to Holland
(De Geus)
Wojciech Tochman (b. 1969) is a journalist and writer. His reportage
has been published in English, French, Swedish, Finnish, Russian,
Dutch and Bosnian. With Like Eating a Stone, Tochman was a finalist for the Nike Literary Prize and for the Prix Témoin du Monde,
awarded by Radio France International. He runs the Polish Reportage Institute together with Paweł Goźliński and Mariusz Szczygieł.
Page 74 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 75 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Małgorzata Rejmer, Bucharest
“Bucharest (...) is like boiling water or whirlpool: churned up and turbid. (...) The attributes of the city: black balls of wires on poles like
nests abandoned by birds, dug-up streets and makeshift repairs versus
elegant shop windows, the piercing smell of lime trees and crushed
grapes. The elegance of architecture from a remote world. The clutter of dilapidated trams and the angry hooting from taxis seconds
before a collision. The sing-song voices of Gypsy children and old
women roaming among countless flower shops, run by the mothers
of those children and the daughters of those old women. Dogs can
be seen everywhere like black and grey bundles abandoned by someone in great hurry.”
I have asked friends what is beautiful in Bucharest. They have
answered:
Bucharest is like a cake you buy on Sunday: it is chocolate-flavoured and sweet but has bitter glaze. One will not find an easy
beauty there.
Shamelessness, hysterical style, superficiality. Every European city
seems static to the point of dullness when compared to Bucharest.
Małgorzata Rejmer
Magdalena Rittenhouse, New York: From
Mannahatta to Ground Zero
Book details
Bukareszt, reportage
Czarne 2013, 272 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-539-9
Rights sold
Romania (Polirom)
Małgorzata Rejmer (b. 1985), a PhD student at the University of
Warsaw. Published in 2009, her debut novel, Toksymia, was shortlisted for the Gdynia Literary Award.
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A story-filled portrait of the vibrant metropolis, New York: From
Mannahatta to Ground Zero blends historical account, essay and
reportage to produce a companion for a curious explorer. Rittenhouse leads us through the history of the city – spanning from the
voyage of Henry Hudson and the Dutch settlement on the island
of Mannahatta to the dazzling billboards of contemporary Times
Square and the reconstruction of Ground Zero. Her accounts combine cultural, intellectual, financial and economic history of New
York with its architecture and urban planning, fashion and entertainment, religion and politics. Rittenhouse’s narration is full of
facts yet it embraces unforgettable energy, diversity, and creativity of Manhattan. As she examines a city full of contrasts, trying to
conjure up its atmosphere, she moves back and forth in time, constantly changing her lenses – looking at wider context, then focusing on minute details of everyday life. Her explorations are organized around themes and places rather than chronologically, as one
might experience during long walks. Way more than a standard
traveler’s guide, it’s a great introduction to a fascinating city.
Book details
Nowy Jork. Od Mannahatty do
Ground Zero, reportage
Czarne 2013, 400 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-570-2
Rights available
World
Magdalena Rittenhouse (b. 1969), a journalist, translator and freelance writer currently based in New York. She published in “Polityka“, “Tygodnik Powszechny“, “The Seattle Times“, “The Nation“
and others, and has worked for several news organizations, including the Associated Press and the BBC. New York: From Mannahatta
to Ground Zero is her first book.
Page 77 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Filip Springer,
Miedzianka. The Story of Disappearance
Filip Springer, A Bathtub With a Colonnade
A Book of Reportage on Polish Space
Poland had one of the best spatial planning systems in Europe; in
fact, it was so good that it was emulated by many countries. For
example Germany. But that was before the Second World War. After the war, the system was centralised. And in new Poland there
is neither central nor spatial planning.
This is ostensibly because the process of planning is boring
and boils down to laws, regulations, graphs, drafts and terminology. So there is no planning, only chaos throughout. However, Filip Springer fearlessly dedicated himself to the task of finding a method in this madness. Undeterred by fences, meandering
among hundreds of billboards, he travelled the length and breadth
of the country. His trip took him to cities and towns big and small,
ghost streets, suburbs without roads or pavements, bridges spanning non-existent rivers. He talked to officials, scientists, architects
and residents of new, promisingly named housing estates which
had turned out to be places of banishment and exile. He found
an Egyptian pyramid in Silesia, a variation on the Parthenon in
Jelonki and a Venetian palace near Warsaw. During his travels he
also stumbled upon a new disease: pastelosis.
The seemingly dull topic has been thus transformed into a fascinating story about the country in which we live and the people who shape our reality. A story which is partly funny and partly scary. A story of spatial order – a concept “everybody has heard
of but not seen in Poland for a very long time”.
Book details
Wanna z kolumnadą.
Reportaże o polskiej przestrzeni
reportage
Czarne 2013, 248 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-556-6
Rights available
World
Filip Springer (b. 1982) studied archaeology and ethnology at the
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. A self-taught journalist,
he has been working as a reporter and photographer since 2006.
He is a contributor to the weekly “Polityka” and a member of the
Visavis.pl Photographers’ Collective. Winner of a scholarship from
the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. He has exhibited his
works in Poznań, Warsaw, Łódź, Gdynia, Lublin and Jelenia Góra.
Page 78 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Coppferberge, Kopferberg, Kupferberg, Miedzianka – a tiny town
near Jelenia Góra which is no more. Nor is the City Hall Restaurant
where gossiping women would cringe with disgust when their husbands started singing: “If you had another mother-in-law…” Gone
are the parties when dancing couples would swirl to the music of
Martin Lehmann’s saxophone. The brewery, the paper factory, the
mason and other craftsmen’s shops – they are all gone. There is no
Mrs Trenkler the shirt-maker, Mrs Assman and Mrs Alex the bed
­linen makers and Mrs Breuer the seller of bread and eggs.
There is no graveyard by the road to Mniszków that overlooked
the Rudawy Janowickie hills, although local people still remember how gravestones were torn from the ground by tractors and
dogs would drag human bones all over the village.
Filip Springer devoted two years of research to find out why
a town with seven centuries of history disappeared from the face
of the earth. Was it because of the wasteful exploitation of uranium deposits by Russians in 1948–1952? Or were mining damages
used as a pretext by the authorities to knock down the whole
town in an attempt to bury a secret?
Book details
Miedzianka. Historia znikania
reportage
Czarne 2011, 272 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-287-9
Rights available
World
Prizes
Shortlisted for the
Kapuściński Award 2011
Shortlisted for the Nike
Literary Prize 2012
Nominated for the Gdynia
Literary Prize 2012
Filip Springer (b. 1982) studied archaeology and ethnology at the
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. A self-taught journalist,
he has been working as a reporter and photographer since 2006.
He is a contributor to the weekly “Polityka” and a member of the
Visavis.pl Photographers’ Collective. Winner of a scholarship from
the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. He has exhibited his
works in Poznań, Warsaw, Łódź, Gdynia, Lublin and Jelenia Góra.
Page 79 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Filip Springer, Blueprint.
The Life and Work of Zofia and Oskar Hansen
A brilliant biographical reportage about a pair of visionary Polish
architects, who lived and worked in the People’s Republic of Poland. The history of Oskar Hansen and his family could serve as
basis for a movie scenario: the son of a Norwegian and a Russian
spends ww ii in Vilnius, where he joins the Polish partisan movement; after the war he studies architecture. During a scholarship
in Paris he works for Jeanneret, he gets to know great painters like
Picasso, whom he gives some valuable advice. Despite offers to stay
in the West, he returns to Poland where he and his wife Zofia work
as architects and develop the idea of the Open Form. Their designs
are bold, unusual and suited to the needs of ordinary people – who
would object to having a flat made to measure? Alas, in the bleak
reality of communist Poland their ideas undergo modifications
beyond the architects’ control. The outcome is e.g. the ill-named
housing estate Przyczółek Grochowski in Warsaw, a place you do
not choose, but are sentenced to. This is where Filip Springer, the
author of the book decides to settle. He wants to know what it is
like to live in a place where the theories of the Hansens were implemented, and to understand, why their innovative ideas did not
quite work out in reality.
Springer writes about original personalities, extraordinary human fate and brave architecture, as well as about our mentality. About a vision of saving the world based on faith in man and
a sense of duty towards others, and the lack of such a vision in today’s world. An engaging, thought-provoking book.
Filip Springer,
Ill-Born. Polish Post-war Modernist Architecture
Book details
Zaczyn. O Zofii i Oskarze Hansenach, reportage
Karakter, Museum of Modern
Art in Warsaw 2013, 264 pages
with 17 images
isbn: 978-83-62376-24-7
Rights available
World
Filip Springer (b. 1982) studied archaeology and ethnology at the
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. A self-taught journalist,
he has been working as a reporter and photographer since 2006.
He is a contributor to the weekly “Polityka” and a member of the
Visavis.pl Photographers’ Collective. Winner of a scholarship from
the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. He has exhibited his
works in Poznań, Warsaw, Łódź, Gdynia, Lublin and Jelenia Góra.
Page 80 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Books and exhibitions like David Crowley’s Cold War Modern have
shown that the architectural ideology of late modernism were a key
front in the ideological war between the two sides of the iron curtain. In the countries of the former Soviet bloc that architecture
has since ended up on the trash heap of history. Subsequent exhibits, books, and other publications defend or simply describe
the art created under communism, including socialist modernism,
which turned out simply to be “ill-born,” as Filip Springer’s terrific
title suggests. With the innocent eye of someone born just seven
years before Poland’s first free elections, this journalist and photographer examines monuments of a prior era and asserts that “after all, it’s good architecture.”
Ill-Born is also a book of photography – made up of valuable
archival items as well as new photographs by Springer himself
– as well as a collection of reportage on these bastard-buildings.
These two halves complement each other wonderfully. Beyond
the stigmatized constructions themselves, Springer highlights the
fates of the architects, thereby illuminating the reality of the Polish People’s Republic in a rich and nuanced light. Springer investigates what happens to the wartime generation, which sought
out some local version of modernity. Particularly fascinating are
their games with power.
Filip Springer, then, places his emphasis on people, not on architecture. Nevertheless, the lives of the buildings since 1989 also emerge from among the pages of this book, in the rebuilding
and fencing in of socialist spaces, in the ruination of their structures by new investors. The question remains open: are these artistically brilliant, modern symbols of the official style of “socialism with a human face” actually livable?
(Max Cegielski, courtesy of the Book Institute)
Book details
Źle urodzone. Reportaże o architekturze prl-u, reportage
Karakter 2012, 272 pages
isbn: 978-83-62376-12-4
Rights sold
Germany (DOM Publishers)
Filip Springer (b. 1982) studied archaeology and ethnology at the
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. A self-taught journalist,
he has been working as a reporter and photographer since 2006.
He is a contributor to the weekly “Polityka” and a member of the
Visavis.pl Photographers’ Collective. Winner of a scholarship from
the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. He has exhibited his
works in Poznań, Warsaw, Łódź, Gdynia, Lublin and Jelenia Góra.
Page 81 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Jacek Hugo-Bader, White Fever
Jacek Hugo-Bader’s book was inspired by two Soviet reporters for
“Komsomolskaya Pravda”, who over fifty years ago outlined their vision of Russia in the twenty-first century. Most of their ideas about
the future now belong among all those fairytales about a Communist paradise on Earth. The modern Russia that Hugo-Bader presents is certainly no idyll.
Hugo-Bader is the type of reporter who “goes the whole way”,
gets in everywhere, gets on with everyone, and has to experience
just about everything at first hand. To get to know Lake Baikal he
crosses it by kayak, and to get the full picture of the state of Russia’s roads he travels several thousand kilometres by jeep. But what
interests him most of all are the people: he spends several days in
disguise with the homeless, investigates a community living in the
taiga that has almost died out because of alcoholism, and meets
with a group of people who are HIV positive. He also gets to know
the only “happy Russians” – the followers of “one of the six Russian Christs”. All the other characters in this book are straight out
of the pages of Dostoyevsky.
As Ryszard Kapuściński used to do, Jacek Hugo-Bader “gives a voice
to the poor”, thus nurturing the finest traditions of Polish reportage.
This genre remains the true pride of our literature. (Marta Mizuro)
Jacek Hugo-Bader, The Kolyma Journals
Book details
Biała gorączka, reportage
Czarne 2009, 400 pages
with b&w photographs
isbn 978-83-7536-081-3
Rights sold
Bolivia (La Mirada Salvaje)
France (Noir sur Blanc)
Germany (Piper Malik)
Hungary (Kairosz)
Israel (Kinneret-Zmora)
Italy (Keller Editore)
Spain (Editorial Dioptrías)
Sweden (Lind & Co)
UK (Portobello)
Ukraine (ECEM Media)
USA (Counterpoint)
Prizes
Nominated for the Beata Pawlak Award 2009
Jacek Hugo Bader’s newest book is a fascinating record of travelling along the Kolyma Highway, a distance of 2025 kilometres. The
author confesses: “I’ve come to Kolyma to see what it is like to live
in such a place, in such a graveyard. The longest one. Is it possible
to love, laugh and scream with joy in this place? What it is like to
cry, produce and bring up children, earn money, drink vodka and
die here? This is what I’m going to write about. About what they eat,
how they sift gold, bake bread, pray, treat illnesses, dream, fight…”
The author delivers on his promise, taking us on a journey to
“Russia’s golden heart”. Although sometimes shocked, the reader will
be surprised to discover the true face of the Island of the Damned.
Book details
Dzienniki kołymskie, reportage
Czarne 2011, 320 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-292-3
Rights sold
France (Noir sur Blanc)
UK (Portobello)
Jacek Hugo-Bader (b. 1957), before he became a journalist for the
daily “Gazeta Wyborcza” in 1991, he taught in a special school,
worked in a grocery store, loaded trains, weighed pigs at a collection
point, counselled couples at a marriage counselling service, and
ran a distribution company. At the same time, he was part of the
anti-Communist opposition. He specializes in features on the former USRR. He wrote about Central Asia, China, Mongolia and Tibet after travelling through them on his bike. Russia is too big for
a bike, alas. He has received several journalistic awards.
Book of the Year 2010 – Polish
Radio Channel 3
Jacek Hugo-Bader (b. 1957), before he became a journalist for the
daily “Gazeta Wyborcza” in 1991, he taught in a special school,
worked in a grocery store, loaded trains, weighed pigs at a collection
point, counselled couples at a marriage counselling service, and
ran a distribution company. At the same time, he was part of the
anti-Communist opposition. He specializes in features on the former USRR. He wrote about Central Asia, China, Mongolia and Tibet after travelling through them on his bike. Russia is too big for
a bike, alas. He has received several journalistic awards.
Page 82 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 83 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Mariusz Szczygieł, Gottland
Gottland is not a book, it is a gem. (Le Figaro)
Extraordinary, hypnotizing and disturbing tales. (Libération)
A collection of exquisite literary pieces of reportage on the Czechs
entangled in their times. Mariusz Szczygieł’s Gottland is not a ste­
reotypical 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 fi
­ nished;
Marta Kubišova, 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 suggested
a similar idea; 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.
An intelligent, captivating and much needed book. Through his tale
of lives of individual people, Mariusz Szczygieł reports on the complicated history of our southern neighbour. Fascinated with their
culture and morale, their sense of irony, humour and sarcasm, he
gives an account of how the Czechs dealt with ‘history which was
let off the leash’. We are reading those stories from the perspective of our destiny and that makes the reading even more captivating. Our experience was similar yet so much different. A fascinating book. (Adam Michnik)
Mariusz Szczygieł (b. 1966), reporter of the “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily. A graduate of the Faculty of Journalism at the University of Warsaw. He hosted his own talk-show for which he received several
awards. He is an editor of the reporters’ feature “Duży Format” in
“Gazeta Wybor­cza” and together with Wojciech Tochman and Paweł
Goźliński runs the Polish Reportage Institute.
Mariusz Szczygieł, Make Your Own Paradise
Book details
Gottland, reportage
Czarne 2006 & 2010, 232 pages
isbn 83-89755-62-9
Rights sold
Bulgaria (Paradox)
Czech Republic (Dokoran)
Czech Republic (theatre rights)
Estonia (Lindepuu)
France (Actes Sud)
Germany (Suhrkamp)
Hungary (Europa)
Italy (Nottetempo)
Romania (Editura Art)
Russia (NLO )
Serbia (Sluzbeni glasnik)
Slovakia (Premedia)
Slovenia (Sanje)
Spain (Acantilado)
Ukraine (Grani-T)
USA (Melville House)
Film rights sold
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.
Book details
Zrób sobie raj, reportage
Czarne 2010, 292 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-223-7
Rights sold
Czech Republic (Dokoran)
France (Actes Sud)
Hungary (Europa)
Italy (Nottetempo)
Ukraine (Tempora)
Mariusz Szczygieł (b. 1966), reporter of the “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily. A graduate of the Faculty of Journalism at the University of Warsaw. He hosted his own talk-show for which he received several
awards. He is an editor of the reporters’ feature “Duży Format” in
“Gazeta Wybor­cza” and together with Wojciech Tochman and Paweł
Goźliński runs the Polish Reportage Institute.
Prizes
Europe Book Prize – Le prix
du livre européen 2009
Gratias Agit Czech State Award
Prix l’Amphi for the French
edition
Nominated for the Nike
Literary Prize 2007
Page 84 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 85 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Lidia Ostałowska, It Hurt Even More
It Hurt Even More is a collection of reportage from the past ­twenty
years. There are twelve stories from across the country – twelve
complicated lives but, in fact, only one heroine: B-class Poland. The
Poland of those who are not wanted, are lost and poorly dressed,
those who suffer from post-abortion syndrome. The book gives
voice to people who cannot cope. But it is also an invaluable
insight into ourselves and our social insensitivity.
This collection of stories about Polish suffering is a true display
of Lidia’s mastery of reportage. Set against the backgrounds as
varied as the multicultural region of Masuria, the bankrupt stateowned farm and the district of Bałuty with its rampant unemployment, some of the stories date back to a decade ago but have not
lost any of their topicality thanks to the author’s talent for listening, talking and watching. The picture of a country in perpetual
transformation, mired in its past and haunted by the guilt for its
unexpiated sins, emerges from this mosaic of human problems. It
is a portrayal of a country whose wounds run from the sea to the
mountains. (Sylwia Chutnik)
Lidia Ostałowska, A Gypsy is a Gypsy
Book details
Bolało jeszcze bardziej,
reportage
Czarne 2012, 192 pages
with b&w photographs
isbn 978-83-7536-443-9
Rights available
World
Prizes
Shortlisted for the
Kapuściński Award 2013
Lidia Ostałowska (b. 1954), a graduate of Polish studies at the Warsaw
University. She worked as a reporter on various weeklies at the time
of Communism and as a journalist for the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”
after the martial law of 1981. She is particularly interested in
disadvantaged people: national and ethnic minorities, women, subcultures of young people and those suffering exclusion. She is the
co-author of many collections of reportage.
Lidia Ostałowska’s excellent Roma portraits have not lost any of
their topicality in the more than ten years that have passed since
their original publication. Despite the involvement of private organisations and international agencies, the plight of Roma has remained unchanged or has even got worse with the passage of time.
None of the post-communist countries has developed a successful policy of cohabitation with the Roma minority. Virtually invisible in everyday life, this minority is brought into the spotlight on
such headline-making occasions as deportations from France, the
erection of ghettos in Slovakia or the ban on begging in Poland.
A Gypsy is a Gypsy provides a glimpse into the complex nature of
the Roma community and how it is affected by the Gadje mentality and the national identity of the countries in which the likes of
Limalo, Marika, Ziutek, Badzio or Romek live as holders of Polish,
Bulgarian, Serb or Hungarian passports…
12 years have passed since the original publication of A Gypsy is
a Gypsy. Much has since changed in our corner of Europe. We belong to a community that champions human rights. In the hustle
and bustle of our public space, a voice is being increasingly heard
that it is not for us to decide on the future of Roma people. It is
for them to determine how to reconcile modernity and tradition.
Book details
Cygan to cygan, reportage
Czarne 2012 (2nd edition)
176 pages
ISBN 978-83-7536-361-6
Rights sold
World
How engagingly Lidia Ostałowska writes about the fascinating
world of Gypsies! There are so many surprising stories, so many
curious lives. Excellently written, passionate and full of h
­ umanism,
this book of reportage uncovers a fascinating and mysterious reality that engages the reader from the very first page. (Ry­szard
Kapuściński)
Lidia Ostałowska (b. 1954), a graduate of Polish studies at the Warsaw
University. She worked as a reporter on various weeklies at the time
of Communism and as a journalist for the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”
after the martial law of 1981. She is particularly interested in
disadvantaged people: national and ethnic minorities, women, subcultures of young people and those suffering exclusion. She is the
co-author of many collections of reportage.
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Page 87 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Lidia Ostałowska, Water-colours
Dina Gottliebova, a talented Jewish student of fine arts from Brno,
was deported from the Terezin ghetto to Auschwitz-Birkenau where
she was assigned the task of painting numbers on the barracks.
When she had painted the children’s barracks with scenes from
Snow White, she attracted attention of Dr Mengele, then the chief
medical officer of the Gypsy family camp known as the Zigeunerlager, who was looking for someone to paint the portraits of Gypsies as part of his research on inferior race.
The youngest child in the family of an Auschwitz railwayman
died in 1942. Three days after liberation the railwayman’s son went
to the camp to look for an orphan to replace the child his grieving
mother had lost. He chose a girl called Ewa, a Hungarian Jew. He
also brought back home with him a bunch of watercolours that
some prisoner had found in the barracks and gifted to him.
In 1963 the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum bought the paintings
from Ewa. In 1970s their author was identified: Dina Gottliebova
lived in the United States as a wife to the famous Disney animator Art Babbitt. She visited Poland while on a trip to Paris. At the
museum she recounted her experiences of living at the camp and
asked for photographs of her paintings. The museum claims that
she would not respond to letters after she had received the photographs. In mid-1990s Ms Babbitt demanded the return of the
original paintings…
Paweł Smoleński,
The Arab Shoots, the Jew Rejoices
Book details
Farby wodne, reportage
Czarne 2011, 264 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-286-2
Rights sold
Czech Republic (P3K)
Germany (Klak Verlag)
Ukraine (V. Books)
What is it like to live in a place where everything is associated
with politics? How to describe a country and a people whose life
is invariably fraught with war and terror? Paweł Smoleński has
found an elegant way out: he writes about everyday life in the
country in which a portion of the population has all of a sudden
become a minority. And he is uncomfortable with this fact, just
like Arabs are, imprisoned in their own yet alien place where
everything is foreign: flag, anthem, language, religion and history. This strangeness has become slightly more familiar since the
war but the longing remains for a country in which “the Jew rejoices when the Arab shoots because they have succeeded together”.
Book details
Arab strzela, Żyd się cieszy
reportage
Weltbild 2012, 272 pages
ISBN 978-83-7799-006-3
Rights available
World
Paweł Smoleński (b. 1959), reporter, political columnist, since
1993 a journalist working for the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”, formerly contributor to underground publications. In October 2003 he
was awarded the Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation Award for “all his
publications on Polish-Ukrainian relations, for the fact that they
have worked towards this reconciliation. Smoleński has ­managed
to show the harm done to both Poles and Ukrainians without
flaring it up”. (Marek Cynkar, chapter secretary). He lives in Warsaw.
Lidia Ostałowska (b. 1954), a graduate of Polish studies at the Warsaw
University. She worked as a reporter on various weeklies at the time
of Communism and as a journalist for the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”
after the martial law of 1981. She is particularly interested in
disadvantaged people: national and ethnic minorities, women, subcultures of young people and those suffering exclusion. She is the
co-author of many collections of reportage.
Page 88 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Page 89 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Paweł Smoleński, Israel Flies No More
A fascinating story about Israel. In more than twenty excellent pieces
of reportage writing, Paweł Smoleński gives us a tour of backstreets of Israeli cities, towns and kibbutzim, as well as beaches,
bars and temples. Whenever it is possible, in elegant halls and in
open-air markets, he talks to people. He listens to their stories. And
he writes: about Fatima and other women from the Sziruk association going out with their mission to Israeli women, about the
life of settlers in the Gaza strip and about liquidation of Jewish
housing estates, about an illness called “the Jerusalem syndrome”,
about despair and hope, about the Beverly Hills kibbutz in the Negrew desert, about rabbis and marihuana pushers, about Hasidic
Jews and those who have come to build a new country, about the
Israel of Amos Oz and Etgar Keret, about Jews from Poland, Morocco, Romania, Yemen, Ukraine, Ethiopia, about this extraordinary, unique crucible of cultures, religions, epochs, customs. He
writes about the original idea and about the land in which it is to
be coined into reality.
Paweł Smoleński, Iraq. Hell in Paradise
Book details
Izrael już nie frunie, reportage
Czarne 2006, 280 pages
isbn 978-83-89755-57-2
Rights sold
Czech Republic (Dokoran)
Prizes
Nominated for the Beata
Pawlak Award 2006
Paweł Smoleński has the eye of the reporter, the mind of the
­scientist and the heart of the poet. This particular anatomy p
­ roduces
remarkable pieces which stand far beyond journalist writing (Etgar Keret)
Paweł Smoleński (b. 1959), reporter, political columnist, since
1993 a journalist working for the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”, formerly contributor to underground publications. In October 2003 he
was awarded the Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation Award for “all his
publications on Polish-Ukrainian relations, for the fact that they
have worked towards this reconciliation. Smoleński has ­managed
to show the harm done to both Poles and Ukrainians without
flaring it up”. (Marek Cynkar, chapter secretary). He lives in Warsaw.
Page 90 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
The cruelty of dictatorship, the poverty of freedom, the arrogance
of conquerors… All this and much more can be found in the dramatic stories Iraqis entrusted to Paweł Smoleński. This is not
a book that contributes to the dispute on whether or not the military intervention in Iraq was justified. This is a book about the
plight of a country and a people crushed by the wheels of History.
Away from the maddening buzz of news reporting and war propaganda, we can hear and listen to Iraqi voices. And how varied they
are. Nothing is simple or obvious here, especially for us, people
from another world. Let us – no, we must – listen to these voices.
(Artur Domosławski)
Book details
Irak. Piekło w raju, reportage
Czarne 2012 (2nd edition)
296 pages
ISBN 978-83-7536-392-0
Rights available
World
Paweł Smoleński’s book is an excellent example of literary reportage,
ranking him among masters of the genre such as Pruszyński and
Wańkowicz. Like all good literature, it is multidimensional. First
and foremost a reportage about Iraq, the book is not merely
a commentary on frontline events. The author sets himself to
a much more ambitious task: he wants to understand a Muslim
society, its culture, tradition and way of thinking. He follows the
path followed by reporters since the times of Herodotus: he talks
to people and narrates their stories. (Ryszard Kapuściński)
Paweł Smoleński (b. 1959), reporter, political columnist, since
1993 a journalist working for the daily “Gazeta Wyborcza”, formerly contributor to underground publications. In October 2003 he
was awarded the Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation Award for “all his
publications on Polish-Ukrainian relations, for the fact that they
have worked towards this reconciliation. Smoleński has ­managed
to show the harm done to both Poles and Ukrainians without
flaring it up”. (Marek Cynkar, chapter secretary). He lives in Warsaw.
Page 91 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Witold Szabłowski, Assassin from Apricot City
Assassin from Apricot City is a multithreaded story about a Turkey torn between East and West, Islam and Islamophobia; soaked
through with conservatism and post-modernity, a yearning for Europe and euroscepticism. Szabłowski leads a colourful procession
of protagonists which we follow into the heart of Turkey, of a nation which, infected with europeanness, is slowly losing its natural traditional rhythm.
Witold Szabłowski (b. 1980), studied political science in Warsaw
and Istanbul, worked for CNN Türk and for the Polish television.
He has received several prizes for his writing, including an award
from Amnesty International.
Izabela Meyza, Witold Szabłowski,
Our Small PRL
Book details
Zabójca z miasta moreli
reportage
Czarne 2010, 208 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-210-7
Rights sold
Germany (Vliegen Verlag)
Ukraine (Tempora)
UK (Stork Press)
Prizes
European Parliament’s Journalism Prize 2010
Beata Pawlak Award 2011
Communism collapsed in Poland nearly a quarter of century ago.
Living conditions have thoroughly changed and the liberated market has been swamped with a wave of Western-derived prosperity.
The authors – a journalist couple – got an idea for an experiment:
they would create their own little People’s Republic of Poland for
half a year in today’s Warsaw. They painstakingly recreated the
reality of the 1980s, collecting articles of daily use from the period
and even giving up their computers and mobile phones. They made
sure they would look, eat and even think and talk like their parents
might have done thirty years earlier. An anthropologist by education,
Izabela Meyza planned the project as if it was an expedition to an
uncharted – yet not that faraway – territory. The authors describe
their experiences with candidness and humour, often quoting passages from the 1980s press and books.
But that is not the end of it. “We returned to the communist
past to have a critical look at capitalism”. It is fascinating to see
how not only everyday life but also people’s mentality and social
relations have changed in the past twenty years. The authors’ experiment provided them with a double perspective and an opportunity to challenge the things we now take for granted: how we
spend our leisure time, how we bring up children and even how
we pursue a partnership model of relationships. They were also
surprised to find how many habits had survived from the times of
oppression. As somebody tells them: “Mind you, the People’s Republic of Poland is still alive for many people”. Seeing, as they did,
that Homo Sovieticus is still alive in contemporary Poland, they
were relieved, though anxious too, to return to the now.
Book details
Nasz mały PRL , reportage
Znak 2012, 320 pages
isbn 978-83-240-2181-9
Rights sold
Ukraine (ECEM Media)
Witold Szabłowski (b. 1980), studied political science in Warsaw
and Istanbul, worked for CNN Türk and for the Polish television.
He has received several prizes for his writing, including an award
from Amnesty International.
Izabela Meyza is a graduate in culture studies at the Warsaw University. She also studied in Tel Aviv and at the Jagiellonian University. A journalist and anthropologist of culture, she is involved in
intercultural dialogue projects.
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Page 93 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Andrzej Muszyński, The South
Where does the South begin? Is the Brandt Line the border, or is
it somewhere entirely else? Is the South a geographical, political
or economic concept? Is it a lifestyle, a climate? A state of mind,
“a hopeless escape into the depth, the heart of the world to check
for the palpable, reassuring pulse”?
The stories told by Muszyński are set amid the scenery of lush
green jungles, dusty roads, sun-burned sands of Atacama and snowcovered mountain passes. His characters include African dictators,
the murderous Khmers Rouges and their victims, South African
revolutionaries and bandits, tribes lost among the peaks of Sierra Nevada and the heirs of ancient civilisations. We are invited to
meet passengers of an impossibly overcrowded Asian bus, Arab
gastarbeiters in Austria and noisy stallholders at African bazaars.
Andrzej Muszyński uses a simple, unadorned language to tell
big and small stories, treating the reader to known and unknown
landscapes of southern Asia, Latin America, Maghreb and Africa.
Combining a traveller’s passion with a reporter’s inquiring mind,
he takes us on a fascinating journey in search of the South.
Wojciech Górecki, Abkhazia
Book details
Południe, reportage
Czarne 2013, 208 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-507-8
Rights available
World
People emerging from a Cambodian jungle. A fire extinguisher that
failed to put down the Arab revolution. A gloomy room of a silent
Native American woman. An executioner turned pastor. A bus travel
through the Amazonian jungle. The Malaysian girl students in snowwhite uniforms. Papa Bongo’s half a century of absolute power in Gabon. Suggestive images and a poetic language. Andrzej Muszyński’s
book is a beautiful literary transcript of a journey to the world’s different Souths. (Michał Nogaś, Programme Three of Polish Radio)
Andrzej Muszyński (b. 1984), the winner of the first scholarship from
the Herodot Foundation in the memory of Ryszard Kapuściński
and the winner of the competition for the best short story at the
Wrocław International Storytelling Festival. A contributor to press
and literary magazines. His travelling serves him as a pretext to return to his provincial roots, which he explores in his prose. A winner
of national travel awards, e.g. for his traverse of the Minkébé forest
in Gabon. He also completed a solo crossing of the Atacama desert.
Page 94 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Abkhazia has a territory, borders and citizens, a president, a prime
minister and an army. The Central Electoral Board organises elections and the Abkhazian Post issues stamps. A thirty years’ old
chopper in the service of Abkhazia Airlines ferries passengers from
Sukhumi to the mountainous town of Pskhu, and citizens are kept
informed by the state press agency Apsnypress and the media such
as the press, television, radio and Internet.
Book details
Abchazja, reportage
Czarne 2013, 184 pages
isbn 978-83-7536-508-5
Rights available
World
Wojciech Górecki is one of the select few people to witness how
the quasi-state of Abhkazia with its disputed borders and unclear
status was born, has grown and begun to collapse in the past
twenty years. Poland does not recognise Abkhazia, which it treats
as part of Georgia. So does the rest of the world with the exception of Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.
Recognition of Abkhazia and of an ever growing number of states
with a similar genealogy would lead to many new conflicts that
would unbalance the world order.
The book is the third and last part of Górecki’s Caucasian triptych
that began with Planeta Kaukaz (The Planet Caucasus) and Toast
za przodków (A toast for the ancestors).
Wojciech Górecki (b. 1970), graduated in history and journalism.
He has written for various Polish magazines and newspapers. An
expert at the Centre for Eastern Studies, he spent the years 20022007 working at the Polish embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan. Author
of The Planet Caucasus (2002), published in Italy as Pianeta Caucaso by Bruno Mondadori, and La terra del vello d’oro. Viaggi in Georgia (2009). He was member of the EU team of experts examining
the 2008 war in Georgia.
Page 95 | Polishrights.com | Spring 2014 | [email protected] | [email protected]
Contact
Magdalena Hajduk-Dębowska
Literary Agent
[email protected]
Maja Gańczarczyk
Rights Assistant
[email protected]

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