Polish writer Wioletta Greg discusses her new novel from Transit Books, Swallowing Mercury.
Praise for Swallowing Mercury
"Greg writes with a precise, strange charm, and the poet’s acute sensitivity to detail. Little by little, I felt the presence of young Wiola appear beside me—vital, quick-witted and curious, picking her way through the dark woods of faith, family, sex, and politics as if in some melancholy fairytale. I experienced the book like a series of cool, clear drinks, each more intoxicating than the last."—Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
"I have been utterly 'swallowed' by this odd yet oddly familiar folk novella—somewhere between memoir and fairytale—which has magic and menace in perfect measure."—Sarah Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither
"I really loved this strange book, which is sometimes sinister and sometimes lovely, and many other things besides."—Evie Wyld, author of All the Birds, Singing
"This book comes the way memory does, in fragments, like something overheard or glimpsed through a gap in a door. It might feel as if you shouldn’t be listening, should turn away, but it is impossible to do so."—Daisy Johnson, author of Fen
About Swallowing Mercury
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE
In this celebrated debut from prize-winning poet Wioletta Greg, Wiola looks back on her youth in a close-knit, agricultural community in 1980s Poland. Her memories are precise, intense, distinctive, sensual: a playfulness and whimsy rise up in the gossip of the village women, rumored visits from the Pope, and the locked room in the dressmaker's house, while political unrest and predatory men cast shadows across this bright portrait. In prose that sparkles with a poet’s touch, Wioletta Greg's debut animates the strange wonders of growing up.