Tania Skarynkina’s A Large Czeslaw Milosz with a Dash of Elvis Presley is a collection of stories that mix life in a small Belarusian town with thoughts on world literature. As a result, she has an external naivety of the imagination that creates an Eastern Bloc magic realism. Skarynkina impelled to spend the 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 live Elvis Presley dressed in gold lame.
Read a chapter from the book here.
Alan Taylor says of Tania Skarynkina that ‘She writes as if penning a letter to a close friend, loosely, intimately, but never less engagingly…’ – The Herald
Country Life wrote of Skarynkina’s essays that they ‘exist at the very edge of what we can imagine.’
About the Author:
Tania Skarynkina, poet and essayist, was born in 1969 in Smarhon, Belarus. During her life, she worked as a postwoman, journalist and illustrator. She writes poetry in Russian and essays in Belarusian. A Large Czeslaw Milosz with a Dash of Elvis Presley was originally published in 2015 and includes recollections of her childhood in Smarhon interwoven with thoughts on poets, philosophers and world literature as a whole.
Jim Dingley, who has a lifetime’s experience of translating Belarusian into English, is the translator of this book. This was his first project with Scotland Street Press. More recently, between 2019 and 2020 he has collaborated with Petra Reid for the PEN Translates award of Alindarka’s Children.