The book fair in Warsaw begins on Thursday. New products prepared by publishers include books by Agata Tuszyńska, Piotr Siemion, Gabriel Krauze and Radek Rak.
“Żongler. Romain Gary” (Wydawnictwo Literackie) is a new book by Agata Tuszyńska. Its hero, Romain Gare (1914-1980) – French writer born in Vilnius, the only author in history to have twice been awarded the Goncourt Prize, diplomat, screenwriter, war pilot, traveler, celebrity, committed suicide in 1980 after a brilliant literary career at the age of 66. He was The protagonist of Tuszyńska’s story is a bewildering and charlatan who plays with facts and inventions, his own and audible stories, and constantly creates a fantastic opus: his autobiography (as if the original story wasn’t fascinating enough). In short – he did everything simply to confuse the threads and make the life of the authors of the biopic difficult. Agata Tuszyńska takes up this challenge, investigates the truth, but also gives the writer the right to artistic self-creation. I entered into a dialogue with him, trying to unravel the secrets of the Jewish identity of the author of “King Solomon’s Fears”.
Another novelty is Romain Gary’s novel, Lady L., which has not been published in Poland yet. When Lady Diane L. learns that her Summer Pavilion is about to be destroyed, she decides not to let that happen. Treating her environment as a national treasure, this eighty-year-old widow of an English aristocrat hides many secrets that can destroy the image of an elegant old lady. After years of silence, he decides to open up to his faithful companion – while walking, he tells him his harrowing story. Gary left behind novels such as “Heaven’s Roots”, “The Promise of the Morning” and “Life Before Him”. “Lady L.” It is the second book – after “Latus” – by this author, not yet published in Poland, and published by Prószyński Media.
Another novelty in the exhibition is the novel “Here They Were, So Steel” (Black) by Gabriel Krauze. The author, born in 1986, is a British writer of Polish descent who grew up in London and in his early youth belonged to a gang in the South Kilburn area. It was this writing that allowed him to abandon his criminal activities. His debut novel Here Was So Steady, in which he remembers his gangster times, was nominated for a Booker Prize and Dylan Thomas was named Spectator’s Book of the Year.
The exhibition’s guest is Douglas Stewart, who will meet readers May 26th 17th at the main exhibition stand. The Scottish writer based in the United States is the author of one of the most famous novels of recent years, “Shoji Pine”, which won the Booker Prize in 2020. The book was rejected by 32 publishers in the United States and dozens in the United Kingdom, but when it was finally released it became a sensation, leaving Douglas his job as a fabric designer. “Shoji Pine”, recently released in Poland, takes us to Glasgow in the bleak 80s Thatcher. Instead of joy – poverty, sadness, violence. The story of the novel coincides with the life of the author from several points, heart by the love of a son who discovers his homosexuality for his addicted mother.
“Bella, ciao” (Filtry) is a new novel by Piotr Siemion, set in 1945 in the restored lands. The Soviet unit on its way back from Berlin makes a stop in a small town and uses it as a last chance to get the very useful booty back home. Soon the situation gets out of hand, because local Polish partisans are also stationed in the city. The author of the recently published book asserts that while writing it he did not anticipate the context of the war in Ukraine, which gave his story an entirely new theme.
“Agla. Alef” (published by Powergraph) is a new book by Radik Rak – winner of the Nike Literary Prize. An adventurous story, but also an insightful psychological novel about maturity and transformation, about love and the discovery of the body, about frustrated friendships, exclusion and loneliness, about finding oneself and becoming human in the fullest sense of the word.
The Institute of Governmental Publication continues to publish the Far East series. New on the market is “The Day the Sun Died” by one of the most interesting contemporary Chinese writers, Yana Liang – a fairy tale that takes place overnight, when the inhabitants of a mountain village, instead of sleeping in the evening, in a sleep trance, vent to waking desires. Society soon plunged into chaos. “The Day the Sun Died” is the fifth novel by Jana Lejank, translated into Polish.
Another novelty in the exhibition is “Black Milk” (Poznan Publishing House) by the famous Turkish writer Elif Shafak. This is an honest story about a mother. After the birth of her first child, Elif Shafak suffered from postpartum depression and stopped writing. The crisis she faced not only made her question her value as a mother, but she also began to consider the role of a writer.
The reader has published another book by Sandor Marai, one of the most interesting Hungarian writers. In “The Abduction of Europe,” Marai included notes and reflections on the journey he began in 1946 from his native Hungary to Switzerland, Italy and France. For the first time after the tragedy of the Second World War, he traversed the streets, squares and alleys of Geneva, Rome, Naples, Paris … Observing the inhabitants of these capitals, he confirmed his bitter conviction about the accomplished and continuing deepening of the division of Europe into eastern and western divisions – political, economic and cultural. Moreover, according to the writer, the old continent has lost the role of a mentor who shows the world the values and trends of development.
Shalom Oslander’s “Mother of Supper” (Filters) is a novel – a satire on the politics of tribalism and identity based on the example of a secretive cannibal cult. The author delves into the struggles caused by the tensions between who we feel, who we are, and what others want to see. What exactly is family and social inheritance? Shalom Oslander asks. The protagonist, who all his life escaped the family tradition of cannibalism at the time of the trial – his mother’s death – decides to fulfill her last will and eat her body with his siblings.
The novel “I Went to My Brother to the South” by Karen Smirnov (Poznan Publishing House) collected excellent reviews in Sweden, where the author comes from. Janakibo comes to his village to help his brother who has problems with alcohol. The visit, after years of absence, revives dark memories of a childhood marked by violence and unexplained things from the past, the inevitable. Jana gets involved in an affair, finds a job, and at the same time tries to understand who the people around her really are and whether the secrets they keep give answers to the questions she’s been holding for years.
There will also be biographical news on the show. “Oh, be quiet over there!” Katarzyna Olkowicz (Rebis) is a story about Bohdan Smoleń, who with Zenon Laskowik created an unforgettable duo at Tey Cabaret in Pozna. Over the years he made millions of his compatriots smile, but the brilliance of the stage did not reach his own life. It was overshadowed by colossal tragedies – the deaths of my son and my wife. + And Hakuna Quiet! + is a biography of a man who stirs up much controversy, from delight to remorse and bitterness. A man who can be good, but also unpleasant to people important to him. In the last years of his life she was sick and disgusting. A man whom he knew and understood little. Of the people. A man probably does not know himself and does not understand himself ”- stated this publisher.
“Hanka Bielicka. Died laughing” by Zbigniew Korpolewski (Prószyński i S-ka) is a personal story about the actress written by her friend. Korpolewski describes her career, the path to a brilliant career, but also the personal life of Hanka Bielicka, hidden behind the scenes so far – he writes about her character, her preferences and dilemmas, about relationships with men and, of course, about her true love for hats.
The exhibition will also contain news reports. “The Man Who Sat” (black) is the story of Alexei Fedyarov, the former head of the investigative department of the Prosecutor’s Office and head of the legal team of a large construction company. In 2013, he was arrested for paying a bribe – as he himself says, it was a bogus charge. He was sent to a penal colony for ex-service employees for three years. It turns out that not much has changed since the Gulag. In his wife, Fedyarov met petty criminals, drug addicts, bribery makers, dangerous murderers – those who got in someone’s way or had to bear the burden of someone else’s guilt. After a fake case, the businessman Fedyarov spent three years in a penal colony, and then described what he experienced and the people he met there.
Palaces on the Water. On the Trail of Polish Beavers by Adam Rubinski (Czarny) is a story about animals that can be a nuisance. However, after World War II, there were almost no beavers in Poland, and when Alexander Ford was filming the adaptation of the movie “Teutonic Knights”, he found the animal for the famous hunting scene only in the Gdansk reserve. But all this is in the past. Today it is difficult to make any statistics, and the largest European rodents live from the Baltic Sea to the Tatras. The history of the Polish population of beavers in the twentieth century is the story of the amazing return of a species that was threatened with extinction not so long ago.
The Book Fair in Warsaw will be held from May 26-29 in the Black Devils and at the Palace of Culture and Science. More than 500 exhibitors from 13 countries will participate: Poland, Norway and Ukraine as well as Armenia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Spain, Germany, Romania, Switzerland, Hungary and Great Britain. Nearly 800 artists will gather with the audience. (PAP)
Author: Agata Szwedowicz
aszw / skp /