LIVE FROM BEA: A Focus on Poland
Welcome Heather from Based on a True Story and another one of our on-site correspondents as she shares a bit more LIVE FROM BEA!!
I love reading books set in other countries and love them even more if they were written by native authors. For years I've been interested in reading more set in Poland because I've been trying to explore my Polish roots. Most books in English set in Poland take place during World War II, which is important, but there is so much more to Poland than those years.
I was thrilled to find out that Poland was the featured international guest at BEA this year. I planned to haunt the booth and see if they would help me on my quest. It worked!
My first in booth signing was for Zygmunt Miloszewski. He is a best selling crime writer in Poland and his books are just being translated. He gave me the first two books in his series and promised that if I read them in the next hour and a half I could get the third in his autographing session. I didn't do my part but I got the third book anyway along with a sweet drawing of flowers and his autograph. His English translations aren't on Goodreads yet.
Polish fantasy? I want this! The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
"Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.
And a cold-blooded killer.
His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good. . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.
The international hit that inspired the video game: The Witcher."
Of course you can't escape World War II completely.
Agatha Tuszynska Family History of Fear: A Memoir by Agata Tuszyńska
"The author was nineteen years old and living in Warsaw when her mother told her the truth—that she was Jewish—and began to tell her stories of the family’s secret past in Poland. Tuszyńska, who grew up in a country beset by anti-Semitism, rarely hearing the word “Jew” (only from her Polish Catholic father, and then, always in derision), was unhinged, ashamed, and humiliated. The author writes of how she skillfully erased the truth within herself, refusing to admit the existence of her other half."
Besides the Poland booth, there were other books set in Poland (all WWII) being given out.
Mischling by Affinity Konar
It's 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood.
As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele's Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain.
Irena's Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo was available. The adult novel isn't on Goodreads yet. This is the story of a woman who saved 2000 children from the Warsaw Ghetto.
All book descriptions from Goodreads