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Kapuściński
Raising Mountains: True Life Stories From Polesie (Usypać góry. Historie z Polesia)
Małgorzata Szejnert
published by Znak, Kraków

Kapuściński’s small homeland
The writer makes a successful attempt at preventing the land of Ryszard Kapuściński’s childhood from being forgotten. Small and big stories, written down by Szejnert, are a colourful historic, ethnographic and anthropologic panorama of places and inhabitants of the western part of the Belarusian Polesie region, with its complicated history, its multinational and multi-faith background and its lost identity.
The Polish-focused perspective is a taboo for Szejnert: down with national myths about the borderland paradise. The arduous work done by the reporter-archivist who pays great attention to detail is astonishing. However, it does not drown the polyphony of the story’s living heroes, who try to preserve Polesie’s cultural heritage for the next generations in difficult contemporary times. A daunting task, like raising mountains in a poem by Uładź Lankiewicz.
Ewa van den Bergen-Makała

Małgorzata Szejnert

(born in 1936) is a Polish journalist and writer. She is a member of the Polish PEN Club. She helped found Gazeta Wyborcza daily after the fall of communism in the country and was in charge of the newspaper’s features section for nearly 15 years. She has written books including Szczecin: Grudzień – Sierpień – Grudzień (co-authored by Tomasz Zalewski and singled out for praise with the 1984 Solidarity Cultural Award), Sława i infamia. Rozmowa z Bohdanem Korzeniewskim (1988 Szymon Konarski Award from the Association of Polish Journalists), Śród żywych duchów (1990 Ksawery Pruszyński PEN Club Award), Czarny ogród (2007), Wyspa klucz (2009), and Dom żółwia. Zanzibar (2011). Szejnert’s 500-page feature on Poland’s southern Silesia coal-mining region, Czarny ogród (Black Garden), won her the Cogito Public Media Award in 2008 and was short-listed for three literary prizes in Poland: Nike, Angelus and Gdynia. In 2015, Czarny ogród was published in German. In one of her most recent pursuits, Szejnert is working on a feature about an unknown episode from World War II.

Book

Raising Mountains: True Life Stories From Polesie (Usypać góry. Historie z Polesia)
Małgorzata SZEJNERT

published by Znak