Eliza Orzeszkowa was a trailblazing Polish novelist who, alongside Leo Tolstoy and Henryk Sienkiewicz, was a finalist for the 1905 Nobel Prize in literature. Of her many works of social realism, Marta (1873) is among the best known, but until now it has not been available in English. An easy peer of The Awakening and A Doll’s House, the novel was well ahead of the English literature of its time in attacking the ways the labor market failed women.
The Politics of Morality is an anthropological study of the expansion of power of the religious right in postsocialist Poland and its effects on individual rights and social mores.
Between the Brown and the Red captures the multifaceted nature of church-state relations in communist Poland, relations that oscillated between mutual confrontation, accommodation, and dialogue. Ironically, under communism the bond between religion and nation in Poland grew stronger. This happened in spite of the fact that the government deployed nationalist themes in order to portray itself as more Polish than communist.
Czesław Miłosz (1911–2004) often seemed austere and forbidding to Americans, but those who got to know him found him warm, witty, and endlessly enriching. An Invisible Rope: Portraits of Czesław Miłosz presents a collection of remembrances from his colleagues, his students, and his fellow writers and poets in America and Poland. Miłosz’s oeuvre is complex, rooted in twentieth-century eastern European history.
The Law of the Looking Glass: Cinema in Poland, 1896–1939 reveals the complex relationship between nationhood, national language, and national cinema in Europe before World War II. Author Sheila Skaff describes how the major issues facing the region before World War I, from the relatively slow pace of modernization to the desire for national sovereignty, shaped local practices in film production, exhibition, and criticism.
At the height of the Nazi extermination campaign in the Warsaw Ghetto, a young Jewish woman, Irena, seeks the protection of her former lover, a young architect, Jan Malecki. By taking her in, he puts his own life and the safety of his family at risk.