Books

The Collected Poems 1956–1998 (2007)

The Collected Poems 1956–1998
Translated by: Alissa Valles, Peter Dale Scott

This outstanding new translation brings a uniformity of voice to Zbigniew Herbert's entire poetic output, from his first book of poems, String of Light, in 1956, to his final volume, previously unpublished in English, Epilogue Of the Storm. Collected Poems: 1956-1998, as Joseph Brodsky said of Herbert's Selected Poems, is "bound for a much longer haul than any of us can anticipate."

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The Mighty Angel (2009)

The Mighty Angel
By: Jerzy Pilch
Translated by: Bill Johnston

The Mighty Angel is about the alcoholic misadventures of a writer named Jerzy. Many times he's woken up in rehab and after treatment at the hands of the stern therapist he has been released, a sober and, more or less, healthy. On the way home he picks up the supplies that are necessary to help him face his reality. While in rehab, Jerzy collects the stories of his fellow alcoholics to tell the story of the alcoholic and to discover the motivations and drives that underlie the alcoholic's behaviour.

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The Story of a Disappearance (2017)

The Story of a Disappearance
Polish title: Miedzianka: Historia Znikania (2011)
By: Filip Springer
Translated by: Sean Gasper Bye

History of a Disappearance is the fascinating true story of a small mining town in the southwest of Poland that, after seven centuries of history, disappeared.

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Flights (2017)

Flights
Polish title: Bieguni (2007)
Translated by: Jennifer Croft

FLIGHTS, a novel about travel in the twenty-first century and human anatomy, is Olga Tokarczuk's most ambitious to date. It interweaves travel narratives and reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration.

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Clementine Loves Red (2017)

Clementine Loves Red
Polish title: Klementyna lubi kolor czerwony (2016)
By: Krystyna Boglar
Translated by: Zosia Krasodomska-Jones

For the first time in the ten years of Zielony Balonik we have decided to read a book written for children, as there is a child in all of us, even in those who, at first, would rather not read children’s books. It is a well-loved Polish contemporary classic, first published in 1970 with illustrations by Bohdan Butenko (born in 1931), one of the best known children’s illustra-tors in Poland. He and Krystyna Boglar have a history of collaboration. Clementine Loves Red has sold over 200,000 copies, in several editions, since it was first published.

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Swallowing Mercury (2017)

Swallowing Mercury
Polish title: Guguły (2014)
By: Wioletta Greg (Grzegorzewska)
Translated by: Eliza Marciniak

We were alerted to Swallowing Mercury by Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, who is chairing the judging panel for this year’s Man Booker International Prize for fiction translated into English. Greg’s first novella is amongst very distinguished company as one of the 13 longlisted books, with the winner to be announced in June. Naturally we decided to read it.

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Rage (2016)

Rage
Polish title: Gniew (2014)
By: Zygmunt Miłoszewski
Translated by: Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Rage, by the highly-rated Zygmunt Miłoszewski, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, was published in the original Polish as Gniew in 2014. The third in a loose trilogy of crime procedurals featuring State Prosecutor Teodor Szacki, Rage follows Entanglement/Uwikłanie (2010/2007) and A Grain of Truth/Ziarno Prawdy (2012/2011) in examining aspects of contemporary Polish society - respectively Poland's Communist past and Polish-Jewish relations. Both earlier novels were made info feature films, A Grain of Truth more successfully, in an excellent adaptation with screenplay by Miłoszewski, directed by Borys Lankosz and starring Robert Wieckiewicz.

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City of Lions (2016)

City of Lions
By: Joseph Wittlin,

The book consists of two essays about the city now called Liviv, in Western Ukraine. Between the wars it was Lwów and part of Poland; until 1918 it belonged to Austro-Hungary and was known as Lemberg. Wittlin (1896–1976) lived in the city from 1904 to 1922, and wrote his essay in New York in 1946; Sands’ grandfather was born there, lost his whole extended family in the Holocaust, moved to Paris, and never spoke about it again. Sands has also written a much longer book, East West Street, in which the city has a central role - several people had read and recommended it; and has made a film, My Nazi Legacy (referred to in City of Lions), about events in Poland and Ukraine during WW2, which is available online (also being shown on BBC4; 27th December, 11pm).

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Boundary (2016)

Boundary
Polish title: Granica (1935)
By: Zofia Nałkowska
Translated by: Ursula Phillips
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Regions of the Great Heresy: Bruno Schulz, A Biographical Portrait (2003)

Regions of the Great Heresy: Bruno Schulz, A Biographical Portrait
Polish title: Regiony Wielkiej Herezji
Translated by: Theodosia Robertson
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