'A peculiar genius with no modern equivalent, except possibly Kafka' - Jonathan Miller Regarded as a central part of Kapuscinski's work, these vivid portraits of life in the depths of Poland embody the young writer's mastery of literary reportage When the great Ryszard Kapuscinski was a young journalist in the early 1960s, he was sent to the farthest reaches of his native Poland between foreign assignments. The resulting pieces brought together in this new collection, nearly all of which are translated into English for the first time, reveal a place just as strange as the distant lands he visited. From forgotten villages to collective farms, Kapuscinski explores a Poland that is post-Stalinist but still Communist; a country on the edge of modernity. He encounters those for whom the promises of rising living standards never worked out as planned, those who would have been misfits under any political system, those tied to the land and those dreaming of escape.
Seventeen Essays on Poland
Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski
Publisher: Penguin Press
Reporting from such varied locations as postcolonial Africa, revolutionary Iran, the military dictatorships of Latin America and Soviet Russia, the Polish journalist and writer Ryszard Kapu?ci?ski was one of the most influential eyewitness journalists of the twentieth century. During the Cold War, he was a dauntless investigator as well as a towering literary talent, and books such as The Emperor and Travels with Herodotus founded the new genre of ‘literary reportage’. It was an achievement that brought him global renown, not to mention the uninvited attentions of the CIA. In this definitive biography, Artur Domos?awski shines a new light on the personal relationships of this intensely charismatic, deeply private man, examining the intractable issue at the heart of Kapu?ci?ski’s life and work: the relationship and tension between journalism and literature. In researching this book, Domos?awski, himself an award-winning foreign correspondent, enjoyed unprecedented access to Kapu?ci?ski’s private papers. The result traces his mentor’s footsteps through Africa and Latin America, delves into files and archives that Kapu?ci?ski himself examined, and records conversations with the people that he talked to in the course of his own investigations. Ryszard Kapu?ci?ski is a meticulous, riveting portrait of a complex man of intense curiosity living at the heart of dangerous times.
Author: Artur Domoslawski
Publisher: Verso Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
'Like rotting stakes in a forest clearing' The great journalist of conflict in the Third World finds an even stranger and more exotic society in his own home of post-War Poland Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski
Publisher: Penguin UK
A moving portrait of Africa from Poland's most celebrated foreign correspondent - a masterpiece from a modern master. Famous for being in the wrong places at just the right times, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa in 1957, at the beginning of the end of colonial rule - the "sometimes dramatic and painful, sometimes enjoyable and jubilant" rebirth of a continent. The Shadow of the Sun sums up the author's experiences ("the record of a 40-year marriage") in this place that became the central obsession of his remarkable career. From the hopeful years of independence through the bloody disintegration of places like Nigeria, Rwanda and Angola, Kapuscinski recounts great social and political changes through the prism of the ordinary African. He examines the rough-and-ready physical world and identifies the true geography of Africa: a little-understood spiritual universe, an African way of being. He looks also at Africa in the wake of two epoch-making changes: the arrival of AIDS and the definitive departure of the white man. Kapuscinski's rare humanity invests his subjects with a grandeur and a dignity unmatched by any other writer on the Third World, and his unique ability to discern the universal in the particular has never been more powerfully displayed than in this work. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski
Publisher: Vintage Canada
In Shah of Shahs Kapuscinski brings a mythographer's perspective and a novelist's virtuosity to bear on the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, one of the most infamous of the United States' client-dictators, who resolved to transform his country into "a second America in a generation," only to be toppled virtually overnight. From his vantage point at the break-up of the old regime, Kapuscinski gives us a compelling history of conspiracy, repression, fanatacism, and revolution.Translated from the Polish by William R. Brand and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand.
Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski
Lying at the crucible of Central Europe, the Silesian village of Kupferberg suffered the violence of the Thirty Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War I. After Stalin’s post-World War II redrawing of Poland’s borders, Kupferberg became Miedzianka, a town settled by displaced persons from all over Poland and a new center of the Eastern Bloc’s uranium-mining industry. Decades of neglect and environmental degradation led to the town being declared uninhabitable, and the population was evacuated. Today, it exists only in ruins, with barely a hundred people living on the unstable ground above its collapsing mines. In this collection of unsparing and insightful reportage, the renowned journalist, photographer, and architecture critic Filip Springer rediscovers this tiny town’s history. Digging beyond the village’s mythic foundations and the great wars and world leaders that shaped it, Springer catalogs the lost human elements: the long-departed tailor and deceased shopkeeper; the parties, now silenced, that used to fill the streets with shouts and laughter; and the once-beautiful cemetery, with gravestones upended by tractors and human bones scattered by dogs. In Miedzianka, Springer sees a microcosm of European history, and a powerful narrative of how the ghosts of the past continue to haunt us in the present day.
Author: Filip Springer
Publisher: Restless Books
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The magnum opus and latest work from Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature—a symphonic oral history about the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY • LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Wall Street Journal • NPR • Financial Times • Kirkus Reviews When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions—a history of the soul.” Alexievich’s distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation. In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what it’s like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacres—but also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world. A magnificent tapestry of the sorrows and triumphs of the human spirit woven by a master, Secondhand Time tells the stories that together make up the true history of a nation. “Through the voices of those who confided in her,” The Nation writes, “Alexievich tells us about human nature, about our dreams, our choices, about good and evil—in a word, about ourselves.” Praise for Svetlana Alexievich and Secondhand Time “The nonfiction volume that has done the most to deepen the emotional understanding of Russia during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union of late is Svetlana Alexievich’s oral history Secondhand Time.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker “Like the greatest works of fiction, Secondhand Time is a comprehensive and unflinching exploration of the human condition. . . . In its scope and wisdom, Secondhand Time is comparable to War and Peace.”—The Wall Street Journal “Already hailed as a masterpiece across Europe, Secondhand Time is an intimate portrait of a country yearning for meaning after the sudden lurch from Communism to capitalism in the 1990s plunged it into existential crisis.”—The New York Times “This is the kind of history, otherwise almost unacknowledged by today’s dictatorships, that matters.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In this spellbinding book, Svetlana Alexievich orchestrates a rich symphony of Russian voices telling their stories of love and death, joy and sorrow, as they try to make sense of the twentieth century.”—J. M. Coetzee
The Last of the Soviets
Author: Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher: Random House
By the mercy of God I am a Christian, by my deeds a great sinner, by calling a homeless wanderer of the lowliest origins, roaming from place to place. Here, see my belongings: a bag of dry crusts on my back and the Holy Bible in my breast pocket; that's it. In 1884 there appeared in Russia a slim volume containing four short tales. They told of a pilgrim, a lone wanderer, led by his quiet curiosity and a deep spiritual longing to undertake a lifelong journey across the land. A folk hero, a figure familiar from the works of Tolstoy and Leskov, this gentle pilgrim and his simple story would soon travel the world - and would even, much later, traverse the pages of JD Salinger's Franny and Zooey as the 'small pea-green cloth-bound book' that Franny keeps close in her handbag. The pilgrim's ancient journey takes him from a city monastery through forests, fields and the steppes of Siberia. He walks by day and by night, through rains and summer months, finding food and shelter where he can. Along the way, he encounters priests and professors, convicts, nuns and beggars, a tipsy old man in a soldier's greatcoat, from whom he slowly gathers great stores of wisdom and experience. But at the heart of his journey is his time spent praying as he journeys on alone, discovering the peace and consolation that come of constant prayer and silent contemplation. Simple and sincere, The Way of a Pilgrim paints an enduring picture of a life of detachment through wandering and prayer. And, as the pilgrim makes his way through the wilds, he invites us to travel with him, along an ancient path into an immense, mystical landscape.
Candid Tales of a Wanderer to His Spiritual Father
Author: Andrew Louth
Publisher: Penguin UK
Jack M. Bloom presents a moving account of how an opposition developed and triumphed in communist Poland, showing the perspectives and experiences of the participants, while often letting them recount their own stories and explain their thinking.
Solidarity and the Struggle Against Communism in Poland
Author: Jack M. Bloom
Category: Political Science
"Bringing together dozens of voices ... [this is a] collection of stories of women's experiences in World War II, both on the front lines, on the home front, and in occupied territories"--Provided by publisher.
An Oral History of Women in World War II
Author: Светлана Алексиевич
When Germany invades Poland, Luftwaffe bombers devastate Warsaw and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals killed, or stolen away to Berlin, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski begin smuggling Jews into the empty cages. As the war escalates Jan becomes increasingly involved in the anti-Nazi resistance. Ammunition is buried in the elephant enclosure and explosives stored in the animal hospital. Plans are prepared for what will become the Warsaw uprising. Through the ever-present fear of discovery, Antonina must keep her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and animal inhabitants - otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes - as Europe crumbles around them. Written with the narrative drive and emotional punch of a novel, The Zookeeper's Wife is a remarkable true story. It shows us the human and personal impact of war - of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, of fighting in the anti-Nazi resistance. But more than anything it is a story of decency and sacrifice triumphing over terror and oppression. Jan and Antonina saved over 300 people from the death camps of the Holocaust. It has already been acclaimed by Jonathan Safran Foer: 'I can't imagine a better story or storyteller. The Zookeeper's Wife will touch every nerve you have.'
Author: Diane Ackerman
Category: Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
The “definitive biography” of the poet and political dissident who became the last president of Czechoslovakia—and first president of the Czech Republic (Walter Isaacson). This portrait of Vaclav Havel, iconoclast and intellectual, renowned playwright turned political dissident, president of a united then divided nation, and dedicated human rights activist, is written by his former press secretary, advisor, and longtime friend—and recounts the turbulent twentieth-century era through which he prevailed. Havel’s lifelong perspective as an outsider began with his privileged childhood in Prague and his family’s blacklisted status following the Communist coup of 1948. This feeling of being outcast fueled his career as an essayist and a dramatist writing absurdist plays as social commentary. His involvement during the Prague Spring and his leadership of Charter 77, his unflagging belief in the power of the powerless, and his galvanizing personality catapulted Havel into a pivotal role as the leader of the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Although Havel was a courageous visionary, he was also a man of great contradictions, wracked with doubt and self-criticism. But he always remained true to himself. This “smart and exciting” biography is “both inspiring and filled with lessons for our time” (Walter Isaacson). “Havel was one of the most important intellectual-troublemaking statesmen of his time—a nonconformist, determined to live in truth, who questioned the system, his countrymen and himself constantly. No one is better suited than Michael Zantovsky to describe, interpret, and analyze this moral giant . . . A brilliantly informed intellectual and political history.” —Madeleine Albright “Entertaining, intimate, and moving . . . Zantovsky’s voice—that of a natural storyteller with an eye for the memorable anecdote, a mischievous wit, an easy intelligence, and keen sense of balance and fairness—is so engaging.” —Paul Wilson, The New York Review of Books
Author: Michael Zantovsky
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Category: Biography & Autobiography
"As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war's final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull"--
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Category: Young Adult Fiction
"A writer finds himself tossed into a chaotic world of schoolboys by a diabolical professor who wishes to reduce him to childishness."--Jacket.
Author: Witold Gombrowicz,Danuta Borchardt
Publisher: Yale University Press
One summer day in 1941, half of the Polish town of Jedwabne murdered the other half, 1,600 men, women, and children, all but seven of the town's Jews. Neighbors tells their story. This is a shocking, brutal story that has never before been told. It is the most important study of Polish-Jewish relations to be published in decades and should become a classic of Holocaust literature. Jan Gross pieces together eyewitness accounts and other evidence into an engulfing reconstruction of the horrific July day remembered well by locals but forgotten by history. His investigation reads like a detective story, and its unfolding yields wider truths about Jewish-Polish relations, the Holocaust, and human responses to occupation and totalitarianism. It is a story of surprises: The newly occupying German army did not compel the massacre, and Jedwabne's Jews and Christians had previously enjoyed cordial relations. After the war, the nearby family who saved Jedwabne's surviving Jews was derided and driven from the area. The single Jew offered mercy by the town declined it. Most arresting is the sinking realization that Jedwabne's Jews were clubbed, drowned, gutted, and burned not by faceless Nazis, but by people whose features and names they knew well: their former schoolmates and those who sold them food, bought their milk, and chatted with them in the street. As much as such a question can ever be answered, Neighbors tells us why. In many ways, this is a simple book. It is easy to read in a single sitting, and hard not to. But its simplicity is deceptive. Gross's new and persuasive answers to vexed questions rewrite the history of twentieth-century Poland. This book proves, finally, that the fates of Poles and Jews during World War II can be comprehended only together.
The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland
Author: Jan T. Gross
Publisher: Princeton University Press
In August 1972, Ryszard Kuklinski, a highly respected colonel in the Polish Army, embarked on what would become one of the most extraordinary human intelligence operations of the Cold War. Despite the extreme risk to himself and his family, he contacted the American Embassy in Bonn, and arranged a secret meeting. From the very start, he made clear that he deplored the Soviet domination of Poland, and believed his country was on the wrong side of the Cold War. Over the next nine years, Kuklinski rose quickly in the Polish defense ministry, acting as a liaison to Moscow, and helping to prepare for a "hot war" with the West. But he also lived a life of subterfuge--of dead drops, messages written in invisible ink, miniature cameras, and secret transmitters. In 1981, he gave the CIA the secret plans to crush Solidarity. Then, about to be discovered, he made a dangerous escape with his family to the West. He still lives in hiding in America. Kuklinski's story is a harrowing personal drama about one man's decision to betray the Communist leadership in order to save the country he loves, and the intense debate it spurred over whether he was a traitor or a patriot. Through extensive interviews and access to the CIA's secret archive on the case, Benjamin Weiser offers an unprecedented and richly detailed look at this secret history of the Cold War.
The Polish Colonel, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country
Author: Benjamin Weiser
A tale of marital intrigue. The protagonist is a woman photographer sent to investigate an old murder on an island. She takes along her husband, the husband's brother and the brother's girlfriend. Problems arise when the husband develops an interest in the other woman. By the author of Resistance.
A Novel Tag - Author of Resistance and Strange Fits of Passion
Author: Anita Shreve
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
“The pages of history recall scarcely any parallel episode at once so romantic in character and so extensive in scale.” —Winston S. Churchill In 1917, two empires that had dominated much of Europe and Asia teetered on the edge of the abyss, exhausted by the ruinous cost in blood and treasure of the First World War. As Imperial Russia and Habsburg-ruled Austria-Hungary began to succumb, a small group of Czech and Slovak combat veterans stranded in Siberia saw an opportunity to realize their long-held dream of independence. While their plan was audacious and complex, and involved moving their 50,000-strong army by land and sea across three-quarters of the earth’s expanse, their commitment to fight for the Allies on the Western Front riveted the attention of Allied London, Paris, and Washington. On their journey across Siberia, a brawl erupted at a remote Trans-Siberian rail station that sparked a wholesale rebellion. The marauding Czecho-Slovak Legion seized control of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, and with it Siberia. In the end, this small band of POWs and deserters, whose strength was seen by Leon Trotsky as the chief threat to Soviet rule, helped destroy the Austro-Hungarian Empire and found Czecho-Slovakia. British prime minister David Lloyd George called their adventure “one of the greatest epics of history,” and former US president Teddy Roosevelt declared that their accomplishments were “unparalleled, so far as I know, in ancient or modern warfare.”
The Mutinous Army that Threatened a Revolution, Destroyed an Empire, Founded a Republic, and Remade the Map of Europe
Author: Kevin McNamara
This is the inspiring and charming true story of one of the Second World War's most unusual combatants - a 500-pound cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking brown bear. Originally adopted as a mascot by the Polish Army in Iran, Wojtek soon took on a more practical role, carrying heavy mortar rounds for the troops and going on to play his part as a fully enlisted 'soldier' with his own rank and number during the Italian campaign. After the war, Wojtek, along with some of his Polish compatriots from II Corps, came to Berwickshire, where he became a significant member of the local community before subsequently moving to Edinburgh Zoo. Wojtek's retirement was far from quiet: a potent symbol of freedom and solidarity for Poles around the world, he attracted a huge amount of media interest that shows no sign of abating almost 50 years after his death.
Polish War Hero
Author: Aileen Orr,Neal Ascherson