Grażyna J. Kozaczka is a distinguished professor of English and the director of the All College Honors Program at Cazenovia College. She is the author of William Dean Howells and John Cheever: The Failure of the American Dream and numerous articles on Polish American literature. She has also authored Old World Stitchery, and articles on Polish folk dress and adornment.
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Of trailblazing Polish novelist Eliza Orzeszkowa’s many works of social realism, Marta is among the best known, but until now it has not been available in English. Easily a peer of The Awakening and A Doll’s House, the novel was well ahead of English literature of its time in attacking the ways the labor market failed women.
Through close readings of several Polish American and Polish Canadian novels and short stories published over the last seven decades, Kozaczka demonstrates how Polish American women writers have shown a strong awareness of their patriarchal oppression, which followed them from Poland into America. She tells the complex story of how they sought empowerment through resistive and transgressive behaviors.