June 13, 2017
novel | pb | 210 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"
“It all blends here unexpectedly: that past and memory with the present and space. . . . At times, your skin will crawl with pleasure from reading.”
Lying in bed in Gotland after a writer’s conference, thinking about his compulsive desire to travel—and the uncomfortable tensions this desire creates—the narrator of Salki starts recounting tragic stories of his family’s past, detailing their lives, struggles, and fears in twentieth-century Eastern Europe. In these pieces, he investigates various “salkis”—attic rooms where memories and memorabilia are stored—real and metaphorical, investigating old documents to better understand the violence of recent times.
Winner of the prestigious Gdynia Literary Award for Essay, Salki is in the tradition of the works of W. G. Sebald and Ryszard Kapuściński, utilizing techniques of Polish reportage in creating a landscape of memory that is moving and historically powerful. (Read an Excerpt)
Translated from the Polish by Jan Pytalski
About the Author: Wojciech Nowicki is a Polish essayist, journalist, critic, photographer, and even writes a culinary column. He is also the co-founder of the Imago Mundi Foundation devoted to promoting photography. Salki is his first book to be translated into English.
About the Translator: Jan Pytalski is a graduate of the American Studies Center at the University of Warsaw, and has an MA in Literary Translation Studies from the University of Rochester.
“A masterful tribute to Georges Perec. . . . There is no future or past, but rather chains of ideas and associations that complement each other. In that sense, Nowicki’s book reminds one of The Rings of Saturn by Sebald.”
“Unfettered by the structures of plot or reader expectation, but beholden to one organizing principle—movement—Salki, both as written and as read, is a journey.”—The Polish Review