A tender and absurdist novel about flight and dictatorship, and about being caught between two worlds
This empathetic and wildly imaginative debut novel tells the story of a lonely boy, a lonely country, and the attempt to put together the pieces of your past.
The narrator thinks he has left the past far behind – but it all catches up with him again when his grandmother dies. In 1984, shortly after martial law is lifted in Poland, his parents secretly fled to Germany with his little sister, leaving their eight-year-old son behind with his grandmother to fool the authorities. What follows is a time of both unprecedented freedom and panic: the boy is interrogated by the secret police, who threaten to send him to an orphanage, and it takes a year before he – thanks to his assertive grandmother – receives the necessary papers that will enable him to board a plane to Frankfurt. At his grandmother’s funeral, he is finally reunited with his parents. But is it too late for a reconciliation?
English sample translation available