Mała Zagłada

Anna Janko

Keynote
This is a disturbing exploration of another person’s memories – the memories of the author’s own mother. It is a singularly
personal story which arose in connection with historical world events.

Selling Points
- The author has won many prizes and awards, among them the award of the NewBooks monthly for the best book of 2015.
- This book has been very well received by readers and literary critics.
- It is a singularly personal story which arose in connection with historical world events.

DESCRIPTION

War never dies out… This is the latest book by the highly-rated writer and poet Anna Janko. An unsettling, very modern appraisal of the trauma suffered by the second generation – fear has left its mark on their lives. I have taken your story, your apocalypse, away from you, mother. You fed it to me when I was little, a grain at a time, little by little, so it would not poison me all at once. But the grains mounted up. Your story is in my blood… Sochy village, near Zamość, south-eastern Poland, 1 June 1943. It only took a few hours to annihilate the village. The buildings were burnt down; the inhabitants shot to death. All that remained among the charred ruins was one house, a few adults and several children. Among them was nine-year-old Terenia Ferenc, Anna Janko’s mother. The little girl saw the Germans murdering her family. This brutal image was to stay with her throughout the years she spent in a children’s home, never allowing her to forget… It was as if I had two mothers because of it all. The first was an adult woman, whom I missed when she went to the shops, whom I feared when she lost her temper, who filled me with pride because no-one in our whole block had a prettier lady for a mother. I also had another mother: a little girl, whose parents had died in the war, who was still terrified and lonely, who had once known hunger and been forced to work for a nasty aunt, the sort who beat her and made her carry pails of water up the hill. For her going to the children’s home after the war was – what a paradox – the best possible good fortune. This little-girl-mother would often lie down on the divan in the middle of the day and cry for no reason. [excerpt from the book] Anna Janko’s The Small Annihilation is not just another tragic family story retrieved from storage where it had been gathering dust since the Second World War. The book gives us a powerful, entirely modern treatment of the trauma experienced by the second generation, stigmatised by fear. The account of the brutal, wartime destruction of the Polish village, told in a naturalistic style, is a starting point for describing a state of ethical and existential vulnerability. Janko’s prose is as sophisticated and challenging as ever and the subject matter is more demanding than usual. It combines a contemporary story with disturbing events from the past, and narration with reportage.  

PRAISE

“It takes its place within a very important European trend of exploring the tragedy of the Second World War in a spirit of understanding and openness to dialogue, rather than of rivalry in relation to victims and war crimes”.

Robert Traba, Gazeta Wyborcza

“Janko has masterfully combined her mother’s memories, accounts from other members of the family who could tell their own versions of the story, and references to academic texts and essays with her own testimony about inheriting such memories and facing the burden and restrictions they impose”.

Bernadetta Darska, Onet.pl 

“An exceptional book. Exceptional not just because we believe the author when she speaks of her ‘genetic trauma’ due to her powerful language which conveys her sadness, anger and goading irony, which verges on cynicism… Emotional truth emanates from this book”.

Juliusz Kurkiewicz, Gazeta Wyborcza

“This book argues strongly against the view that instances of war-related trauma can be ranked in a hierarchy”.

Piotr Kofta, Wprost

“As with Svetlana Alexievich’s reportage, in this book war is shown not only as a tragic episode in history, but as a living memory, which even after many years puts us on our guard as a danger which could recur”.

Aleksandra Żelazińska, Polityka


Target market
Loyal readers of Anna Janko’s work.
Readers interested in current affairs,
history, psychology and sociology.
Readers who like essays, reportage
and literary non‑iction.

Release date: 2015
Pages: 264
ISBN: 978-83-08-07052-9
Rights sold: World English (World Editions) Croatia (Zagrebačka Naklada) Czech Republic (PANT) France (Noir sur Blanc) Hungary (Magyar Naplo) Macedonia (Muza)


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The Small Annihilation

Anna Janko

Keynote
This is a disturbing exploration of another person’s memories – the memories of the author’s own mother. It is a singularly
personal story which arose in connection with historical world events.

Selling Points
- The author has won many prizes and awards, among them the award of the NewBooks monthly for the best book of 2015.
- This book has been very well received by readers and literary critics.
- It is a singularly personal story which arose in connection with historical world events.

DESCRIPTION

War never dies out… This is the latest book by the highly-rated writer and poet Anna Janko. An unsettling, very modern appraisal of the trauma suffered by the second generation – fear has left its mark on their lives. I have taken your story, your apocalypse, away from you, mother. You fed it to me when I was little, a grain at a time, little by little, so it would not poison me all at once. But the grains mounted up. Your story is in my blood… Sochy village, near Zamość, south-eastern Poland, 1 June 1943. It only took a few hours to annihilate the village. The buildings were burnt down; the inhabitants shot to death. All that remained among the charred ruins was one house, a few adults and several children. Among them was nine-year-old Terenia Ferenc, Anna Janko’s mother. The little girl saw the Germans murdering her family. This brutal image was to stay with her throughout the years she spent in a children’s home, never allowing her to forget… It was as if I had two mothers because of it all. The first was an adult woman, whom I missed when she went to the shops, whom I feared when she lost her temper, who filled me with pride because no-one in our whole block had a prettier lady for a mother. I also had another mother: a little girl, whose parents had died in the war, who was still terrified and lonely, who had once known hunger and been forced to work for a nasty aunt, the sort who beat her and made her carry pails of water up the hill. For her going to the children’s home after the war was – what a paradox – the best possible good fortune. This little-girl-mother would often lie down on the divan in the middle of the day and cry for no reason. [excerpt from the book] Anna Janko’s The Small Annihilation is not just another tragic family story retrieved from storage where it had been gathering dust since the Second World War. The book gives us a powerful, entirely modern treatment of the trauma experienced by the second generation, stigmatised by fear. The account of the brutal, wartime destruction of the Polish village, told in a naturalistic style, is a starting point for describing a state of ethical and existential vulnerability. Janko’s prose is as sophisticated and challenging as ever and the subject matter is more demanding than usual. It combines a contemporary story with disturbing events from the past, and narration with reportage.  

PRAISE

“It takes its place within a very important European trend of exploring the tragedy of the Second World War in a spirit of understanding and openness to dialogue, rather than of rivalry in relation to victims and war crimes”.

Robert Traba, Gazeta Wyborcza

“Janko has masterfully combined her mother’s memories, accounts from other members of the family who could tell their own versions of the story, and references to academic texts and essays with her own testimony about inheriting such memories and facing the burden and restrictions they impose”.

Bernadetta Darska, Onet.pl 

“An exceptional book. Exceptional not just because we believe the author when she speaks of her ‘genetic trauma’ due to her powerful language which conveys her sadness, anger and goading irony, which verges on cynicism… Emotional truth emanates from this book”.

Juliusz Kurkiewicz, Gazeta Wyborcza

“This book argues strongly against the view that instances of war-related trauma can be ranked in a hierarchy”.

Piotr Kofta, Wprost

“As with Svetlana Alexievich’s reportage, in this book war is shown not only as a tragic episode in history, but as a living memory, which even after many years puts us on our guard as a danger which could recur”.

Aleksandra Żelazińska, Polityka


Target market
Loyal readers of Anna Janko’s work.
Readers interested in current affairs,
history, psychology and sociology.
Readers who like essays, reportage
and literary non‑iction.

Release date: 2015
Pages: 264
ISBN: 978-83-08-07052-9
Rights sold: World English (World Editions) Croatia (Zagrebačka Naklada) Czech Republic (PANT) France (Noir sur Blanc) Hungary (Magyar Naplo) Macedonia (Muza)