PolishLibrarianPO Top Contributor
Joined: 28 Aug 2010
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:39 pm
Post subject: Contemporary Books
I have read and enjoyed these books. Perhaps others would enjoy them as well.
Kniffel, Leonard. A Polish Son in the Motherland: An American?s Journey Home. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, c2005. 236 p.
Searching for the remnants of his family, Leonard Kniffel left Chicago in 2000 to live for a few months in the town where his grandmother grew up. His search for a connection to Poland was propelled by memories of the stories his grandmother told him about her emigration to Michigan in 1913 and his questions about why his family?s ties to Poland were severed. It reveals what half a century of communism did to Poland and how the residue of World War II lingers. In returning to Poland himself, he sought and found a bridge to the "Great Migration" that changed the lives of so many millions.
Mendelsohn, Daniel Adam. The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million. New York: HarperCollins, c2006. 512 p.
The author describes how his family was haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust and how he embarked on a determined search to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his lost ancestors' fates.
Pasulka, Brigid. A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2009. 354 p.
On the eve of World War II in a place called Half-Village (in the mountains of southern Poland), a young man nicknamed the Pigeon falls in love with a girl fabled for her angelic looks. He offers her family his "golden hands" and transforms their modest hut into a beautiful home, thereby building his way into her heart. But then war arrives to cut short their courtship, delay their marriage, and wreak havoc in their lives - even sending the young lovers far from home, to the promise of a new life in Krakow.
Nearly fifty years later, their granddaughter, Beata, repeats their postwar journey, seeking a new life in the fairy-tale city of her grandmother's stories. But instead of the whispered prosperity of New Poland, she discovers a city caught between its future and its past. Taken in by her tough-talking cousin Irena and Irena's glamorous daughter Magda, Beata struggles to find her own place in 1990s Krakow and in the constellation of Irena and Magda's fierce love. But unexpected events - tragedies and miracles - can change lives and open eyes. And Beata may just find a new way of seeing her family's and her country's history - as well as a vision for her own role in the New Poland.
Whimsical, wise, beautiful, magical, and sometimes heartbreaking, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True weaves together two remarkable stories, reimagining half a century of Polish history through the legacy of one unforgettable love affair.