Regarded as a central part of Kapuscinski's work, these vivid portraits of life in the depths of Poland embody the young writer's mastery of literary reportage.
When the great Ryszard Kapuscinski was a young journalist in the early 1960s, he was sent to the farthest reaches of his native Poland between foreign assignments. The resulting pieces brought together in this new collection, nearly all of which are translated into English for the first time, reveal a place just as strange as the distant lands he visited.
From forgotten villages to collective farms, Kapuscinski explores a Poland that is post-Stalinist but still Communist; a country on the edge of modernity. He encounters those for whom the promises of rising living standards never worked out as planned, those who would have been misfits under any political system, those tied to the land and those dreaming of escape.
About the Author
Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in Poland in 1932, and studied history and Polish language and literature at the University of Warsaw. As a foreign correspondent for PAP, the Polish news agency, until 1981, he was an eyewitness to revolutions and civil wars in Africa, Asia and Latin America, experiences that have made him one of the foremost writers on crises in the modern world. His texts have been published in The New York Times, Time magazine and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (among others), and have been translated into thirty languages.
His books include Another Day of Life (1976; Penguin, 2001); The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat (1978), an account of the decline and fall of Haile Selassie of Ethiopia; Shah of Shahs (1982), on the last days of the Persian Shah; The Soccer War (1988), eyewitness accounts from Third World countries; Imperium (1992), memoirs and essays on the Soviet Union; and four volumes of Lapidarium (1990, 1995, 1997 and 2000), journalistic, political and poetic notes and essays.
Kapuscinski has been awarded several international literary prizes, such as the German Publishers' and Booksellers' Prize (1994), the Prix d'Astrolabe, France (1995), the Turzanski Foundation Award, Canada (1996), the Joseph Conrad Literary Award, USA (1997), the Hansische-Goethe Preis, Germany (1998), the Gottingen-Torun Partner Cities Literary Prize, Germany-Poland (1999) and the Premio lnternazionale Viareggio, Italy (2000). He was recendy made 'journalist of the century' in Poland.
"A peculiar genius with no modern equivalent, except possibly Kafka."
"Kapuscinski trascends the limitations of journalism and writes with the narrative power of a Conrad or Kipling or Orwell."