Monday, February 06, 2006
I have been reading the novel Poland, by James A. Michener, for the last month. Normally, I plow through books, so most books only last me a few days, but this one was so densely written that I only got through a few pages at a time. Poland the book is about, well, Poland the country, and traces the turbulent history of the nation across centuries by following three families: one a wealthy member of the nobility, one a member of the landed gentry, and one a peasant family in indebted servitude to the landowners. I knew relatively nothing about Polish history and culture before reading this book, and found my self completely drawn in by the story and I'm now on a big-time Poland kick. I discovered a Polish restaurant in my very own neighborhood and I'm planning to go sometime this week. Apparently, I'm not the only one who became obsessed with Poland after reading this book. My grandmother's name was written on the inside cover (I found the book at my parents' house) so I called her up to tell that I read it and really enjoyed it. She told me that after reading it, she became fascinated with Poland and even went there twice on vacation, and that she "no longer laughs at Polish jokes because the Poles have suffered greatly." Now I'm curious to read other books by Michener. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for the collection Tales of the South Pacific, which later was adapted for the musical South Pacific.