112th: Witold Szabłowski and Georgi Gospodinov
Where: Book Culture
536 W. 112th St.
212-865-1588 Price: Free
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Join us as Book Culture on 112th and the Polish Cultural Institute New York and The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation celebrate the release of Witold Szabłowski’s Dancing Bears: True Stories of People Nostalgic for Life Under Tyranny on Wednesday, May 9th at 7pm! Witold will be joined in conversation by Georgi Gospodinov.
About Dancing Bears:
In the tradition of Ryszard Kapuściński, award-winning Polish journalist Witold Szablowski uncovers remarkable stories of people throughout Eastern Europe and in Cuba who, like Bulgaria’s dancing bears, are now free but who seem nostalgic for the time when they were not. His on-the-ground reporting–of smuggling a car into Ukraine, hitchhiking through Kosovo as it declares independence, arguing with Stalin-adoring tour guides at the Stalin Museum, sleeping in London’s Victoria Station alongside a homeless woman from Poland, and giving taxi rides to Cubans fearing for the life of Fidel Castro–provides a fascinating portrait of social and economic upheaval and a lesson in the challenges of freedom and the seductions of authoritarian rule.
About The Physics of Sorrow:
Using the myth of the Minotaur as its organizing image, the narrator of Gospodinov’s long-awaited novel constructs a labyrinth of stories about his family, jumping from era to era and viewpoint to viewpoint, exploring the mindset and trappings of Eastern Europeans. Incredibly moving–such as with the story of his grandfather accidentally being left behind at a mill–and extraordinarily funny–see the section on the awfulness of the question “how are you?”–Physics is a book that you can inhabit, tracing connections, following the narrator down various “side passages,” getting pleasantly lost in the various stories and empathizing with the sorrowful, misunderstood Minotaur at the center of it all.
Like the work of Dave Eggers, Tom McCarthy, and Dubravka Ugresic, The Physics of Sorrow draws you in with its unique structure, humanitarian concerns, and stunning storytelling.Buy tickets/get more info now