Unquiet Days at Home in Poland by Thomas Swick

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Melding his experience of living in Warsaw during 1980-1982 with return stays in '85, '88 and '90, Swick, travel editor for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel , adroitly succeeds here in capturing the country's ethos, especially--and perhaps remarkably for a non-Catholic--its religious rites. We accompany him to the funeral of cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, buried with the solemn pageantry befitting a primate of the Church; partake of family celebrations of Christmas Eve Wigilia and Easter Wielkanoc , followed by Mass; achieve, with the euphoric if footsore Swick, an epiphany on a nine-day pilgrimage to the legendary Black Madonna of Czestochowa. The author, who taught at the Methodist English Language College in Warsaw and with his native-born wife endured shortages and discomforts on a scale with the average hard-pressed Varsovian, "adopted the Poles as other writers had the Greeks." Readers of this resonant memoir will agree he made a good bargain.

About Thomas Swick

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Published August 29, 1991 by Houghton Mifflin. 286 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel.

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Lovely but dull memoir of living and teaching English in Poland ten years ago, by the travel editor of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Unquiet Days at Home in Poland