House of day, house of night

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Northwestern University Press, Feb 12, 2003 - Fiction - 293 pages
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The English translation of the prize-winning international bestseller. Nowa Roda is a small town in Silesia, an area that has been part of Poland, Germany, and the former Czechoslovakia in the past. When the narrator moves into the area, she discovers everyone--and everything--has its own story. With the help of Marta, her enigmatic neighbor, the narrator accumulates these stories, tracing the history of Nowa Ruda from the founding of the town to the lives of its saints, from the caller who wins the radio quiz every day to the tale of the man who causes international tension when he dies on the border, one leg on the Polish side, the other on the Czech side. Each of the stories represents a brick, and they interlock to reveal the immense monument that is the town. What emerges is the message that the history of any place--no matter how humble--is limitless, that by describing or digging at the roots of a life, a house, or a neighborhood, one can see all the connections, not only with one's self and one's dreams but also with all of the universe. Richly imagined and interwoven with anecdote, recipes, and gossip, Tokarczuk's novel is an epic of a small place. Since its original publication in 1998 it has remained a bestseller in Poland. House of Day, House of Night is the English-language debut of one of Europe's best young writers.

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