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The Mid-Manhattan Library and
the Polish Cultural Institute New York

Andrzej Stasiuk
European Book Club Discussion

Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 6:00 PM

Mid-Manhattan Library (NYPL)
Corner Room Gallery
455 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
The event is free with registration and open to the public  

The best travel books, like On the Road to Babadag, are read for more than the mere travel information they supply: They give readers the true experience of going there.... [T]he reader of this book is entering a world in which all recognizable landmarks are gone, a place where "for us everything starts or ends with a war." Stasiuk takes us to real places; on the Day of the Dead, for example, he stops and lights candles in a war cemetery, reminding us that "the roots of these trees have been feeding for more than seventy years on the bodies of Estonians and Croats, in a corner of the world no one visits."--Thomas McGonigle, Los Angeles Times

Winner of the 2005 NIKE Prize--Polands highest literary award.

Join us at the Mid-Manhattan Library (NYPL) for the 2013 Polish session of the European Book Club, where we will discuss Andrzej Stasiuk's cycle of travel narratives On the Road to Babadag: Travels in the Other Europe (tr. Michael Kandel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). Stasiuk is searching for a sense of the authentic and the original in Europe's backwaters, passed over by progress and technology. Often, these places have an important link to modernity, such as the birthplace of Romanian essayist and philosopher, E. M. Cioran, and the book becomes a kind of dialogue with Cioran on the ideas of stasis and decay, and what it means to be on the periphery of world culture. At the same time, the author is always questioning his own reliability as a reporter, casting the facts into doubt as he cultivates an ever stronger personal voice.

The European Book Club is a monthly series of book discussions organized by ten European cultural institutes and consulates based in New York. There are no special membership requirements to participate. Simply check the European Book Club website for upcoming meetings as they are announced, register, read the book, and join the discussion!

The discussion of Stasiuk's On the Road to Babadag will be moderated by David A. Goldfarb, Curator of Literature and Humanities at the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

The Polish session of the European Book Club is organized by the Polish Cultural Institute New York in collaboration with the Mid-Manhattan Library of the New York Public Library, within the framework of the European Cultural Institutes in New York (EUNIC).

More about On the Road to Babadag

Reserve the book from the NYPL Catalogue

Purchase the book from the publisher's website

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More about Andrzej Stasiuk

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