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Grynberg is the most important chronicler of Jewish life in Poland after the Holocaust. His work has echoed through Polish society and moved many people to reach out to him to tell their personal stories of Jews and gentiles still affected by the terrible events of Poland’s past. Rejwach, his fiction debut, was written as an artistic response to those stories. The book is made up of short monologues, each by a different character and about three pages long. The individuals are Jewish, Christian, and non-religious, from all backgrounds and walks of life. All have had their lives shaped by Poland’s Jewish history in some way – people discovering as adults they are Jewish, Jews wondering if they feel more at home in Poland or Israel, ordinary Poles trying to do right by their country’s history, anti-Semites convinced all the fuss is ginned up for political reasons. The title (pronounced rey-vakh) is a Polish Yiddishism referring to a commotion, a hullabaloo – essentially, a big, noisy mess. Grynberg takes a bold, unsentimental look at the forces shaping contemporary Jewish life in Poland, offering a powerful counter to nationalist and ahistorical narratives. This book was shortlisted for the NIKE literary prize for the year 2018.
Mikołaj Grynberg (b. 1966) is a photographer and writer who majored in psychology. He was the leader of the Portrait Workshop of the Polish Photographic Artists Association and his photographs have been exhibited around the world. Grynberg is the author of albums Many Women (2009) and Auschwitz – What Am I Doing Here? (2010), as well as three non-fiction books: Survivors of the 20th Century, I Accuse Auschwitz and Book of Exodus. His first novel titled Rejwach was shortlisted for Poland’s most prestigious literary award NIKE Literary Prize 2018 (Spanish rights sold to Acantilado, Hebrew to Carmel). For years he has been dealing with the history of Jews in the 20th century, never afraid of tackling the difficult issues. His entire artistic output is characterized by an exceptional perspective of dialogue, always focused on meeting people, opening up to hear their personal stories.
Mila Gavrilović (1980) graduated from the Department of Polish Studies at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. She translates prose, poetry, non-fiction and drama from Polish and English into Serbian. She received the Miloš N. Đurić award for best translation in the field of poetry in 2019. In addition to literature, she is an active professional translator and interpreter. She is a member of the Association of Literary Translators of Serbia and the Rozstaje translation hub.