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White Nights

White Nights by Urszula Honek

As seen:

  • International Booker Prize 2024 Longlist

By Urszula Honek

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Translated by Kate Webster

​White Nights, the debut short story collection from poet Urszula Honek, is a series of thirteen interconnected stories concerning the various tragedies and misfortunes that befall a group of people who all grew up and live(d) in the same village in the Beskid Niski region, in southern Poland. Each story centres itself around a different character and how it is that they manage to cope, survive or merely exist, despite, and often in ignorance of, the poverty, disappointment, tragedy, despair, brutality and general sense of futility that surrounds them. Urszula relates to us, with the sincerest care and honesty, a localised, yet so clearly universal, story of ruin and hope: a story where the protagonists do not ask to be understood, but merely to be seen and to be heard. Kate Webster’s brilliant translation of Urszula’s poetic, yet often earthen, prose brings us to places that, though they are seldom seen in literature, we may never forget.

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