Wojciech Jagielski spent over thirty years working as a war correspondent, reporting from more than fifty different wars. His firsthand knowledge of the conflicts in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and a number of African countries has led to books that have been translated and published around the world.
His English-language publications include Towers of Stone, a fascinating portrayal of the two Russian-Chechen wars, partly through Jagielski’s own experience of hiding in a Chechen village in an attempt to interview the commanders-in-chief, thus exposing himself to the risk of becoming a hostage, and The Night Wanderers, a harrowing account of the experiences of children kidnapped and forced to join the sinister Lord’s Resistance Army. In each book, while focusing on real, ordinary people whose lives are affected by global or national events, Jagielski indirectly tells us the entire history of the country concerned, placing modern-day events in their historical and political contexts. His books are gripping and fascinating, making us painfully but enthrallingly aware of unfamiliar countries.
Jagielski’s latest book to appear in English translation is Burning the Grass (forthcoming from Seven Stories Press), which portrays the legacy of the apartheid system in South Africa through the lives of people whose experiences of it are very different. Focusing on a small town in the Boer heartland, his main characters are: the firebrand leader of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement who, despite an aggressive presence, is heading a redundant force; a black town counselor who fought against apartheid as a dissident, but though now in power, has no power at all; and a white farmer of British descent, whose attempts to act fairly toward his black farm workers as well as the local Boers are destined to fail.
In the related article featured here, Jagielski finds a Polish connection with the struggle against apartheid, in the form of a sinister assassin.
– Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Witold Szabłowski is now working on a book about people who saved each other’s lives in Volhynia during the Second World War. Then part of Nazi-occupied eastern Poland (and now in western Ukraine), Volhynia was the scene of some of the bloodiest events in the entire course of the war. The report featured here was published in Gazeta Wyborcza‘s “Duży Format” reportage supplement on June 18, 2013, and will feature in the book.
The Brooklyn Rail welcomes you to our web-exclusive section InTranslation, where we feature unpublished translations of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and dramatic writing. Published since April 2007, InTranslation is a venue for outstanding work in translation and a resource for translators, authors, editors, and publishers seeking to collaborate.
We seek exceptional unpublished English translations from all languages.
Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry: Manuscripts of no longer than 20 pages (double-spaced).
Plays: Manuscripts of no longer than 30 pages (in left-justified format).