A remarkable, multifaceted story made up of journal accounts, memories, conversations and personal experience, The Bronski House is a paean to Poland, a landmark in travel writing, and a family history – tied together by the unique experience of returning from exile.
In the summer of 1992, accompanied by Philip Marsden, the exiled poet Zofia Hinska stepped into the Belorussian village where she had spent her childhood. The Bronski House is in part the remarkable story of what she found. It is also the story of her mother, Helena Bronska – of her coming of age during the Russian revolution, her dramatic escapes from Bolsheviks, Germans and partisans, of her love and loss in a now vanished world. It brilliantly reconstructs a world which vanished in 1939 when Soviet tanks rolled into eastern Poland.
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‘An odd but splendidly imagined fish, part novel, part reverie. Marsden has a dazzling gift for poetic evocation – and for reminding us that Britain is not an island.’
John Fowles, Spectator
‘An extraordinary, multi-faceted narrative. From diaries and memories it recreates the true story of two polish women – mother and daughter – amid the destruction of a whole culture’
Colin Thubron, Daily Telegraph
‘He is an exquisite writer, with the elegant style, light historical touch and detachment of a storyteller … incandescent … the best travel writing I have read on Poland.’ Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sunday Times
‘A tragic, uplifting elegy to a remarkable family. Philip Marsden's work will invigorate travel literature by helping to propel it over the boundary into unexplored territory.’
Rory Maclean, Times Literary Supplement
Philip Marsden is the author of A Far Country: Travels in Ethiopia, and The Crossing Place (which won the Somerset Maugham Award) He is the editor of The Spectator Book of Travel Writing.
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