Sylwia Chutnik again:
“All the time the old gits are blowing their big noses into flannel handkerchiefs and snorting the leftover phlegm back into themselves, into their lungs. Maybe it’ll come in useful later? Maybe, when that rainy day comes, you go for the phlegm and eat it for dinner.”
Chutnik easily avoids the intellectuo-philosophising that mars so much Polish writing but also avoids the traps of Polish “ousiderism.” Her characters are from the margins – or thereabouts – of society but despite the cruelty (in Chutnik hell is others) there is none of the “look at me” wallowing in filth and degradation that passes for documentary-style realism in the works of Stasiuk and Nowakowski. What alarms in Chutnik is how broad the margins of modern Polish society have become – not just winos and criminals, but the old, the unmarried, children, non-conformists…
She has already won prizes and acclaim in Poland and if there is any justice in publishing she will be one to watch outside of the country too.
Kieszonkowy atlas kobiety