Tag: Poland

Cold Water by Dave Hutchinson

Cold Water by Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson, like William Gibson, is an artiste of the slightly funny deal. They run all through Cold Water, and trying to figure out just who is running a caper on whom is one of the pleasures of the novel. Carey Tews, the novel’s main protagonist, is a Texan who’s been in Europe for decades …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/01/28/cold-water-by-dave-hutchinson/

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz has a captivating mind. In Native Realm he invites readers to join him on what his subtitle calls “A Search for Self-Definition,” and is a journey from the wooded interior of what is today Lithuania, where he was born into a family of Polish-speaking gentry, through his young adulthood in interwar Warsaw, past …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/26/native-realm-by-czeslaw-milosz/

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Seldom does a book’s title fit so perfectly, so terribly as Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski (pron. “Chap-ski”). He was born into an aristocratic Polish family in Prague, at a time when that city was ruled from Vienna as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Czapski grew up near Minsk, in present-day Belarus; he finished his …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/23/inhuman-land-by-jozef-czapski/

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Henryk Sienkiewicz, an early Nobel laureate, wrote historical novels set mostly in the days of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that, like Shakespeare’s history plays, have a resonance well beyond their initial audiences and historical settings. Sienkiewicz lived and wrote at a time when Poland’s imperial neighbors had erased it from the map of Europe, and yet …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/07/24/on-the-field-of-glory-by-henryk-sienkiewicz/

Drive Your Plows Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

Nobel laureate, Polish literature, what’s not to like? It turns out that for me the more relevant question was what’s to like? Tokarczuk’s first-person narrator and protagonist, Janina Duszejko lives alone in a small group of houses on a plateau in southern Poland, hard up against the border with the Czech Republic. Most of the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/07/drive-your-plows-over-the-bones-of-the-dead-by-olga-tokarczuk/

Nobody Leaves by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Nobody Leaves

Before he became a famous foreign correspondent, Ryszard Kapuściński wrote a series of astonishing dispatches for the weekly newspaper Polityka from Poland’s small towns and backwaters. Poland in 1959 still bore many visible scars of the war that had ravaged it a decade and a half previous. With Stalin’s death in 1953 the worst excesses …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/20/nobody-leaves-by-ryszard-kapuscinski/

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning Silver

One of the unusual things that Naomi Novik does in Spinning Silver — so unusual, in fact, that I can’t think of another fantasy book that does it — is to state that some of her main characters are Jews. The first chapter lays out the hints: the characters are moneylenders in a small town whose …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/15/spinning-silver-by-naomi-novik/

Hitler’s Empire by Mark Mazower

In Hitler’s Empire Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University, describes how Nazi Germany ruled most of the rest of Europe. Briefly, Nazi rule was both incompetent and inhumane. In that sense, Mazower’s book does not break much new ground. Instead, it takes on several other interesting tasks. It situates Nazism “as an …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/19/hitlers-empire-by-mark-mazower/

Expedition zu den Polen by Steffen Moeller

Steffen Möller’s second genial book about Poland and Germany takes the train ride from Berlin to Warsaw as his frame to share more anecdotes from a life lived in both countries. Möller’s engagement with Poland began more or less on a lark, when he signed up for a language seminar in Krakow in the mid-1990s. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/02/24/expedition-zu-den-polen-by-steffen-moeller/

Viva Warszawa by Steffen Moeller

Quite by accident, Steffen Möller has found himself one of the most famous contemporary Germans in Poland. He moved there in the mid-1990s for no particularly profound reasons — looking for work, looking for things to be slightly different, looking into a society that was changing rapidly, looking at a place that was at once nearby …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/07/18/viva-warszawa-by-steffen-moeller/