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Swallowing Mercury

Swallowing Mercury

Set in rural south Poland in the 1980s, this novella follows a young girl's passage to adulthood in her village, where folklore lives alongside religious belief and peculiar personal metamorphoses are the norm.

This title is no longer available locally, but in stock internationally – usually ships 2-3 weeks.

Quick Reference

ISBN 9781846276071
Barcode 9781846276071
Published 25 January 2017 by Granta Books
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Greg, Wioletta
Translated by Marciniak, Eliza
Availability Available

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9781846276071
ISBN-10 1846276071
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced; usually ships 2-3 weeks
Publisher Granta Books
Imprint Portobello Books Ltd
Publication Date 25 January 2017
International Publication Date 5 January 2017
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Greg, Wioletta
Translated by Marciniak, Eliza
Category Award Winning
General & Literary Fiction
Modern Fiction
Interest Age 0-0 years
Reading Age 0-0 years
Library of Congress Poland
NBS Text General & Literary Fiction
ONIX Text General/trade
Number of Pages 160
Dimensions Width: 129mm
Height: 198mm
Spine: 9mm
Weight 230g
Dewey Code 891.8538
Catalogue Code 731827

Description of this Book

Wiola lives in a close-knit agricultural community. Wiola has a black cat called Blackie. Wiola's father was a deserter but now he's a taxidermist. Wiola's mother tells her that killing spiders brings on storms. Wiola must never enter the seamstress's 'secret' room. Wiola collects matchbox labels. Wiola is a good Catholic girl brought up with folktales and nurtured on superstition. Wiola lives in a Poland that is both very recent and lost in time. Wiola's life is peculiar. Wiola's life is just a life. Following Wiola's progress from childhood to adolescence, Swallowing Mercury is a novella about the ordinary passing of years filled with extraordinary days. In vivid prose, filled with texture, colour and sound, it depicts an enchanting world of horse-drawn carts and local markets, folk customs and political unrest, freshly-picked cherries and rival cigarette brands. It is a precise and sensitive character study of a clever, strong-willed, thoughtful girl who grows into a unique young woman, both an observer of and a participant in her world.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

Awards Long-listed for Man Booker International Prize 2017 (UK)
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

WIOLETTA GREG is the author of six volumes of poetry and a novella, Swallowing Mercury, translated here into English for the first time. Her poetry collection, Finite Formulae Theories of Chance, was shortlisted for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize. She lives in Essex.ELIZA MARCINIAK is an editor and translator. She lives in London.

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