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A Large Czesław Miłosz With a Dash of Elvis Presley

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A pigs head on a manaquin, with a floating boxing glove above.
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Tania Skarynkina’s stories mix life in a small Belarusian town with thoughts on world literature. Sitting by her window with a glass of cranberries in sugar syrup bought from a woman in the market who assured her they came from Karelia, she muses ‘Perhaps they have some kind of effect when you eat them. Spiritual maybe? So I eat and wait for the cranberries to work their magic on me.’ Skarynkina is impelled to spend the last of her money on a trip to Krakow to meet Czesław Miłosz but never finds his address, so he remains to her an idol like Elvis Presley dressed in  gold lame. Each story has a charm and imaginative flight of its own.

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‘She writes as if penning a letter to a close friend, loosely, intimately, but never less engagingly…’

– Alan Taylor, The Herald

Skarynkina’s essays ‘exist at the very edge of what we can imagine.’

- Country Life

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Tania Skarynkina


about the author
Tania Skarynkina was born in 1969 in Smarhon, Belarus. She worked as a postwoman, journalist, and illustrator. She writes poetry in Russian and essays in Belarusian. Her works have been translated into English, Polish, Czech and Hebrew.
about the artist
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