Format: Paperback (B Format)
Release date: 2018
Tania Skarynkina’s stories mix life in a small Belarusian town with thoughts on world literature. She has an external naivety of the imagination that creates and Eastern Bloc magic realism. 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 thee last of her money on a trip to Krakow to meet Czeslaw Milosz 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.
Tania Skarynkina, poet and essayist, was born in 1969 in Smarhon, Belarus. This book of literary essays was published in 2015 and includes recollections of her childhood in Smarhon interwoven with thoughts on poets, philosophers and world literature as a whole. Fresh and engaging, it is a Window into Another Life. Jim Dingley, who has a lifetime’s experience of translating Belarusian into English, is currently working on this project with Scotland Street Press.