Jerzy Pilch’s A Thousand Peaceful Cities

The Quarterly Conversation has a great short essay by Matthew Jakubowski on Jerzy Pilch’s novel A Thousand Peaceful Cities (Tysiąc spokojnych miast, Wydawnictwo Literackie 1997), which Open Letter will publish in summer 2010 in a translation not by Bill Johnston, but by David Frick, who is better known as a scholar of Polish Baroque literature, among other specialties, and as Chair of Berkeley’s Slavic Department. This is surprising, but great news. Johnston no doubt has enough on his plate, what with his translation of Wiesław Myśliwski’s magnum opus Stone Upon Stone due out from Archipelago next year; and Polish literature needs more translators. TQC also includes an excerpt from the book, which as Jakubowski describes, is “a coming-of-age story set in the small southern Polish town of Wisla during Soviet rule in the 1960s” and is “narrated by a boy named Jerzy at age twelve or thirteen, with the occasional shift in perspective to show Pilch commenting as an adult on his memories as an adolescent.”

(Note [19 December 2009]: as editor E.J. Van Lanen comments here, Open Letter will be publishing a fourth book by Pilch in 2011, also translated by David Frick.)

One response to “Jerzy Pilch’s A Thousand Peaceful Cities

  1. We signed on Pilch’s MY FIRST SUICIDE too. Out in 2011, also translated by David Frick.

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