Books for the New Year

3 January 2013 - By

Tatra Highlander Folk Culture in Poland and America

From John Guzlowski: Thaddeus Gromada, a retired professor of European History and one of the great authorities on Tatra Highlander culture, has written a book that sets the record straight on the Górals.

The book consists of a series of short, very readable essays on the people of the highlands, their history and their ways and what happened to them when they came to America. A number of these essays talk about Prof. Gromada’s own roots in the highland.



Essays devoted to the folk culture of the Tatra Mountain region in Poland and to the Tatra Highlanders (gorale) who brought this culture in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The essays are designed to spread the good news; of the richness of this folk culture that impacted on Poland's high; culture. The book will give the reader a new and refreshing perspective on Polish culture.
List Price: $14.95 USD
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From writers in Australia

Four self-published workers from writers in Australia at Favoryta including Moja Emigracja/My Migration, an exploration of the cross-cultural experiences of Polish migrants to Australia. It is a collective study of migrant experience by twenty one contributors in Polish and English. Also, Okruchy/Crumbs by Aleksander S. Pęczalski, a volume of poetry and autobiography in Polish.

Finding Poland

From John Guzlowski: In the last few years, a number of excellent books about what happened to the Poles who were taken east to Siberia by the Soviets during World War II have appeared. To this short list must be added Matthew Kelly’s Finding Poland. Part memoir, part history, part family biography, part eulogy for a generation quickly receding, Kelly’s book will touch any Polish-American who has ever looked at old photographs of grandparents whose names have been forgotten or stared at yellow pages written in Polish sixty, eighty, or a hundred years ago.

And as an adult, a historian teaching at the University of Southampton, UK, he set out to answer the questions that he must have asked himself as a boy: Who were those people in those fading photographs, why were they taken from their homes, what did they suffer, and how did the suffering change them?


Finding Poland (Paperback)

By (author): Matthew Kelly

Following the partitioning of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, Matthew Kelly's great grandmother and her two daughters were deported to the East. Thus began an extraordinary ordeal that took them, and many thousands like them, on a journey stretching from Siberia to Pakistan, and beyond. Their male relatives endured a parallel journey; arrested, exiled, and held as prisoners of war. Countless numbers were summarily executed by the Red Army. They saw the steppe, they were put to work in labour camps, they built sections of the trans-Siberian railway, they cleared forests, they toiled on collective farms. They knew hunger, exhaustion, disease and death. Persecuted by the Soviet Union, Poland was to become its unexpected ally following the German invasion in 1941. A new Polish army, 'The Anders Army' was assembled in Palestine. For a brief moment, in Kazakhstan, families were reunited, before being evacuated; to India, to Britain, to Mexico and East Africa; and from there, across the world. The experiences of these Poles had consequences far reaching and enduring, both to Poland, to Polish identity, and to the families that survived; reverberating through generations. These incredible stories remain largely untold. In "Finding Poland" Matthew Kelly embarks on a journey through his ancestor's footsteps, travelling through places they lived, and landscapes they survived, to provide an account of these extraordinary people and their unique history. Part memoir, history and travel book, it is also a profound meditation on the experience of displacement and exile, of the impact of such seismic disruption, and the deep legacies such trauma bequeaths.
List Price: $20.25 USD
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The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery

Captain Witold Pilecki had the distinction of being the only known person to smuggle into Auschwitz, so he could report back to the Allies about the conditions there. They didn’t listen. They thought he was exaggerating.

Pilecki, who was one of 150,000 Polish prisoners, was at Auschwitz from September 1940 to April 1943, and witnessed its transition from a P.O.W. camp to an extermination camp before he escaped. Like so many others Polish freedom fighters, he was tortured by Communist authorities after the war. Pilecki was executed at their hands in 1948. Compared with the Communists, “Auschwitz was easy,” he said after his sentence was pronounced. His body has never been recovered.


The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery (Hardcover)

By (author): Captain Witold Pilecki

In 1940, the Polish Underground wanted to know what was happening inside the recently opened Auschwitz concentration camp. Polish army officer Witold Pilecki volunteered to be arrested by the Germans and reported from inside the camp. His intelligence reports, smuggled out in 1941, were among the first eyewitness accounts of Auschwitz atrocities: the extermination of Soviet POWs, its function as a camp for Polish political prisoners, and the “final solution” for Jews. Pilecki received brutal treatment until he escaped in April 1943; soon after, he wrote a brief report. This book is the first English translation of a 1945 expanded version. In the foreword, Poland’s chief rabbi states, “If heeded, Pilecki’s early warnings might have changed the course of history.” Pilecki’s story was suppressed for half a century after his 1948 arrest by the Polish Communist regime as a “Western spy.” He was executed and expunged from Polish history. Pilecki writes in staccato style but also interjects his observations on humankind’s lack of progress: “We have strayed, my friends, we have strayed dreadfully... we are a whole level of hell worse than animals!” These remarkable revelations are amplified by 40 b&w photos, illus., and maps.
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A Polish Book of Monsters/Spellmaker

Among the short form finalists for the 2012 Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards (for works published in 2011) is Spellmaker by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated from the Polish by Michael Kandel (A Polish Book of Monsters, Michael Kandel, PIASA Books). Spellmaker contains five stories of speculative fiction from dystopian science fiction to fabled fantasy, these dark tales grip us through the authors’ ability to create utterly convincing alien worlds that reflect our own.



A Polish Book of Monsters contains five stories of speculative fiction edited and translated from the Polish by Michael Kandel, award-winning translator of the fiction of Stanislaw Lem. From dystopian science fiction to fabled fantasy, these dark tales grip us through the authors' ability to create utterly convincing alien worlds that nonetheless reflect our own.
List Price: $15.00 USD
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Lune de Miel

From John Guzlowski: From the first stanza of the first poem in this amazing collection, you know Amy Nawrocki is ready to transport you through the magic of her poems to some exotic, crazy, and unimaginable place, a lover’s Paris.


Lune de Miel (Paperback)

By (author): Amy Nawrocki

A poetry chapbook.
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Walking on Ice

Agnes, a young girl in Poland, shares her life with us as she tries to find her place in her family and her country. But the more she learns, the more out of place she becomes. When Comrade Stalin dies, Agnes’s father pushes the limits and is sent to prison for crimes against them. So now Agnes and her mother are alone in the icy waters of an oppressive system run by an unpredictable government. Agnes starts to learn the difference between truth and lies, how things may appear and how they really are.


Walking on Ice (Perfect Paperback)

By (author): Maria Pilatowicz

I became aware of tensions, undercurrents, shadows, whispers, nods, half words, syllables, communicating things I did not understand. Behind the word they lurked a larger, indefinable, abstract, but ominous presence. I wondered what one could put in ink on a page that would be so dangerous, so infinitely evil.
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Strangers in the Wild Place

In 1936, the Nazi state created a massive military training site near Wildflecken, a tiny community in rural Bavaria. During the war, this base housed an industrial facility that drew forced laborers from all over conquered Europe. At war’s end, the base became Europe’s largest Displaced Persons camp, housing thousands of Polish refugees and German civilians fleeing Eastern Europe. As the Cold War intensified, the US Army occupied the base, removed the remaining refugees, and stayed until 1994. Strangers in the Wild Place tells the story of these tumultuous years through the eyes of these very different groups, who were forced to find ways to live together and form a functional society out of the ruins of Hitler’s Reich.



In 1936, the Nazi state created a massive military training site near Wildflecken, a tiny community in rural Bavaria. During the war, this base housed an industrial facility that drew forced laborers from all over conquered Europe. At war’s end, the base became Europe’s largest Displaced Persons camp, housing thousands of Polish refugees and German civilians fleeing Eastern Europe. As the Cold War intensified, the US Army occupied the base, removed the remaining refugees, and stayed until 1994. Strangers in the Wild Place tells the story of these tumultuous years through the eyes of these very different groups, who were forced to find ways to live together and form a functional society out of the ruins of Hitler’s Reich.

List Price: $35.00 USD
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Kaia, Heroine of the 1944 Warsaw Rising

Kaia, Heroine of the 1944 Warsaw Rising tells the story of one woman, whose life encompasses a century of Polish history. Full of tragic and compelling experiences such as life in Siberia, Warsaw before World War II, the German occupation, the Warsaw Rising, and life in the Soviet Ostashkov prison, Kaia was deeply involved with the battle that decimated Warsaw in 1944 as a member of the resistance army and the rebuilding of the city as an architect years later.


Kaia, Heroine of the 1944 Warsaw Rising (Hardcover)

By (author): Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm

Kaia, Heroine of the 1944 Warsaw Rising tells the story of one woman, whose life encompasses a century of Polish history. Full of tragic and compelling experiences such as life in Siberia, Warsaw before World War II, the German occupation, the Warsaw Rising, and life in the Soviet Ostashkov prison, Kaia was deeply involved with the battle that decimated Warsaw in 1944 as a member of the resistance army and the rebuilding of the city as an architect years later.

Kaia’s father was expelled from Poland for conspiring against the Russian czar. She spent her early childhood near Altaj Mountain and remembered Siberia as a “paradise”. In 1922, the family returned to free Poland, the train trip taking a year. Kaia entered the school system, studied architecture, and joined the Armia Krajowa in 1942. After the legendary partisan Hubal’s death, a courier gave Kaia the famous leader’s Virtuti Militari Award to protect. She carried the medal for 54 years. After the Warsaw Rising collapsed, she was captured by the Russian NKVD in Bialystok and imprisoned. In one of many interrogations, a Russian asked about Hubal’s award. When Kaia replied that it was a religious relic from her father, she received only a puzzled look from the interrogator. Knowing that another interrogation could end differently, she hid the award in the heel of her shoe where it was never discovered.

In 1946, Kaia, very ill and weighing only 84 pounds, returned to Poland, where she regained her health and later worked as an architect to the rebuild the totally decimated Warsaw.
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Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin

Professor Timothy D. Snyder was honored with the prestigious Polish award – Kazimierz Moczarski Award for Historical Research – for his book “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.” Professor Snyder also received the 2012 Jerzy Giedroyc Award.

Americans call the Second World War “The Good War”. But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens — and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness. Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power.



Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.” But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.

Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

List Price: $19.99 USD
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Daughter of Poland: Anna Bibro

The suffering of the Jewish people during WWII has been well documented, but we have heard little about the lives of others during the war. Anna was an ordinary citizen growing up in prewar Poland. She graduated from a teaching seminary and was married shortly thereafter. The bliss of married life ended August 1939 when Polish troops requested that her husband report to the local armory immediately. She would not see him again for nine years. By early September bombs began dropping and food was scarce for her and her two-year-old son. Russian troops soon invaded and travel was restricted. Farmers were not allowed to bring their goods to market. Anna barely escaped getting sent to Siberia.

Coal & Ice

The revised second edition of Coal & Ice, an original memoir of fiction and poetry, includes fiction and poetry published in various literary journals including The Paris Review, The California Quarterly, The Rocky Mountain Review, The Minnesota Review, Aspen Anthology, Green House, and The Ohio Journal. Passionate, gritty poetry, Phil Boiarski magically weaves the emotions poetry is meant to evoke. His ability to stitch the memories of yesteryear, when humanity was more aware of nature and the settling of North America by the old Europeans, is stunning.


Coal & Ice (Paperback)

By (author): Phil Boiarski

The revised second edition of Coal & Ice, an original memoir of fiction and poetry, includes fiction and poetry published in various literary journals including The Paris Review, The California Quarterly, The Rocky Mountain Review, The Minnesota Review, Aspen Anthology, Green House, and The Ohio Journal.
List Price: $10.24 USD
New From: $9.22 USD In Stock
Used from: $9.99 USD In Stock

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