At the beginning of the twentieth century, Nathan Stramer returns from the United States to his hometown of Tarnów, an industrial town in southern Poland, where half of the population is Jewish. Here he meets his wife, starts a family and becomes the father of six children. We see an ordinary family, quite poor, suspended somewhere between the past (tradition), dreams (the United States) and the future (children). Wedged between their dreams of a better future there are numerous everyday problems and conflicts because each member of this large family views the world in a different way. As befits an outstanding chronicler of family life, the author follows his characters, describing their daily choices, successes and setbacks. This intimate but extremely intense story becomes interrupted, with increasing frequency, by the vast and bloody history which will not bypass even this ordinary family living in the countryside. Łoziński also accompanies the Stramer family in the Tarnów ghetto, which is followed by the Holocaust. The lucky ones manage to escape, but they will end up wandering along the peripheries of the Soviet Union. In his simple but disarmingly honest and painfully moving portrait of this family, Łoziński demonstrates simultaneously the beauty and horror of ordinary life in Poland in the first half of the 20th century.

“This story, the tale of a poor Jewish family living in Tarnów in the interwar period, would seem condemned to incurable sadness and the ending we all know. Yet Mikołaj Łoziński has managed to wipe away the blackness that colors our memory of those times. The protagonists have no idea what is in store for them, while we know all too well. The author allows his characters to make mistakes, to commit blunders; he breathes life into them, sometimes trivial, sometimes most significant, sometimes grotesque, joyous and tragic”.

Adam Zagajewski

“Łoziński has managed to write a novel we don’t want to finish, we want to keep living in the Stramers’ world. The protagonists’ fates lead on, into a different Poland. It is marvelous to close the book and feel that the story is still continuing. I was waiting for a book like this”.

Justyna Sobolewska, Polityka

“Stramer has a balanced construction and a thoughtful concept. It keeps its distance from tactics that would dramatize the plot in a simple way, it is after something else. It is basically a novel about identity, and not the tides of history”.

Jarosław Czechowicz, Krytycznym okiem

“Stramer is basically a great, compelling, and beautiful tale of a family, of the bonds that tie brothers and sisters, of support in every situation, no matter how complex. The Stramer family of the title, made up of parents and six children, and their town of Tarnów are painted so vividly that it seems Mikołaj Łoziński has been given the divine talent of time travel”.

Maria Fredro­ ­Boniecka, Vogue

“I would call Stramer an outstanding novel for several reasons. This is the kind of book people wait to find: wise and brilliantly written. Were it not for the heaviness of the subject, you might call it an easy read. But that would be inappropriate indeed. Or would it be? Łoziński has not written a novel about the Holocaust, but about the life that came before it”.

Piotr Bratkowski, Newsweek

“Stramer is not a Holocaust novel. Nor is it a nostalgic work of literature about a lost world, captured in the flicker of Shabbat candles. This book sounds so modern that the reader might forget they’re not a Jew”.

Tadeusz Sobolewski, Książki magazine

Release date: 2019
Pages: 440
ISBN: 978-83-08-06946-2
Rights sold: Croatia (Hena.com) France (Noir sur Blanc) Italy Bottega Errante Edizioni) Macedonia (Muza Publishers) Ukraine (Anetta Publishers)


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Stramer

Mikołaj Łoziński

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Nathan Stramer returns from the United States to his hometown of Tarnów, an industrial town in southern Poland, where half of the population is Jewish. Here he meets his wife, starts a family and becomes the father of six children. We see an ordinary family, quite poor, suspended somewhere between the past (tradition), dreams (the United States) and the future (children). Wedged between their dreams of a better future there are numerous everyday problems and conflicts because each member of this large family views the world in a different way. As befits an outstanding chronicler of family life, the author follows his characters, describing their daily choices, successes and setbacks. This intimate but extremely intense story becomes interrupted, with increasing frequency, by the vast and bloody history which will not bypass even this ordinary family living in the countryside. Łoziński also accompanies the Stramer family in the Tarnów ghetto, which is followed by the Holocaust. The lucky ones manage to escape, but they will end up wandering along the peripheries of the Soviet Union. In his simple but disarmingly honest and painfully moving portrait of this family, Łoziński demonstrates simultaneously the beauty and horror of ordinary life in Poland in the first half of the 20th century.

“This story, the tale of a poor Jewish family living in Tarnów in the interwar period, would seem condemned to incurable sadness and the ending we all know. Yet Mikołaj Łoziński has managed to wipe away the blackness that colors our memory of those times. The protagonists have no idea what is in store for them, while we know all too well. The author allows his characters to make mistakes, to commit blunders; he breathes life into them, sometimes trivial, sometimes most significant, sometimes grotesque, joyous and tragic”.

Adam Zagajewski

“Łoziński has managed to write a novel we don’t want to finish, we want to keep living in the Stramers’ world. The protagonists’ fates lead on, into a different Poland. It is marvelous to close the book and feel that the story is still continuing. I was waiting for a book like this”.

Justyna Sobolewska, Polityka

“Stramer has a balanced construction and a thoughtful concept. It keeps its distance from tactics that would dramatize the plot in a simple way, it is after something else. It is basically a novel about identity, and not the tides of history”.

Jarosław Czechowicz, Krytycznym okiem

“Stramer is basically a great, compelling, and beautiful tale of a family, of the bonds that tie brothers and sisters, of support in every situation, no matter how complex. The Stramer family of the title, made up of parents and six children, and their town of Tarnów are painted so vividly that it seems Mikołaj Łoziński has been given the divine talent of time travel”.

Maria Fredro­ ­Boniecka, Vogue

“I would call Stramer an outstanding novel for several reasons. This is the kind of book people wait to find: wise and brilliantly written. Were it not for the heaviness of the subject, you might call it an easy read. But that would be inappropriate indeed. Or would it be? Łoziński has not written a novel about the Holocaust, but about the life that came before it”.

Piotr Bratkowski, Newsweek

“Stramer is not a Holocaust novel. Nor is it a nostalgic work of literature about a lost world, captured in the flicker of Shabbat candles. This book sounds so modern that the reader might forget they’re not a Jew”.

Tadeusz Sobolewski, Książki magazine

Release date: 2019
Pages: 440
ISBN: 978-83-08-06946-2
Rights sold: Croatia (Hena.com) France (Noir sur Blanc) Italy Bottega Errante Edizioni) Macedonia (Muza Publishers) Ukraine (Anetta Publishers)