In the Scales of Fate

Jerzy Peterkiewicz, Author, Raleigh Trevelyan, Photographer Marion Boyars Publishers $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7145-2960-8
In this first installment of a projected two-volume memoir, poet and novelist Jerzy Peterkiewicz (b. 1916) traces his early life in rural Poland up until the 1953 publication of The Knotted Cord , his first novel (which he wrote in English). In a haunting and expressive style, Peterkiewicz describes a childhood spent in the peasant society of a small village, Fabianki, and a life shattered first by the 1920 invasion of Poland by Russia and later by the death of his parents within a year of each other before his 12th birthday. As a young man, the author achieved some renown in Warsaw after ``Prowincja,'' his poem celebrating the peasants he had grown up with, was published, but the outbreak of WW II compelled him to leave for England in his early 20s where he pursued a literary career. Peterkiewicz successfully mixes humor and pathos in this rich tapestry of memory and anecdote, evoking a religious and superstitious provincial society and the lonely experience of living in an alien culture. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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