Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: Swallowing Mercury

Swallowing Mercury Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book of short stories that seem more like vignettes of a rural Polish childhood during the Communist years. The political details are in the background but place Wioletta well. There are some attempts to weave in fables and myths but they were subtle enough that they did not get in the way of a good story. The cultural details were incredibly vivid, from paprikash spread to the flowers falling from the fabric.

I first knew about this collection when it was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2016. While it didn't make the shortlist, I was happy to find a copy during Women in Translation Month (August 2017.)

I also enjoyed Kamil's review on YouTube because he read the stories both in the original Polish and then in English, and I learned a lot from his comments.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy through Edelweiss.

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