Cold Sea Stories

Pawel Huelle (Author) Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Translator)


A student pedals an old Ukrainian bicycle between striking factories delivering bulletins in the tumultuous first days of the Polish Solidarity movement; a shepherd watches, unseen, as a strange figure disembarks from a pirate ship to bury a chest on the beach; a prisoner in a Berber dungeon recounts his life's story--the failed pursuit of the world's very first language--by scrawling in the sand on his cell floor. The characters in this mesmerizing short story collection find themselves, willingly or not, at the heart of epic narratives. Against such backdrops as the Baltic coast, Kashubian folklore, Chinese mysticism, and the 9/11 attacks, this book centers around the vision of the refugee: be it the Chechen woman carrying her newborn child across the Polish border, the survivor of the Gulag reappearing on his friends' doorstep, or the stranger who befriends the sole resident of a ghostly Mennonite village in the final days of World War II. Offering insight into Polish and Jewish sociopolitical history, this collection is written in the style and traditions of Polish literature.

Product Details

Comma Press
Publish Date
August 23, 2012
5.1 X 0.7 X 7.8 inches | 0.25 pounds
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About the Author

Pawel Huelle is a journalist; a television producer; and a former literature, philosophy, and history professor. He is the author of nine books, including Castorp and The Last Supper, and the recipient of the Found in Translation Award. Antonia Lloyd-Jones is a full-time translator of Polish literature. She is the translator of Kaytek the Wizard and The Last Supper and the recipient of the Found in Translation Award.


"Quirky, thoughtful and poetic." --Times
"Huelle writes in such an engaging, chatty style that you hardly notice the fraught circumstances underlying every tale." --Guardian
"A writer whose work is full of depth and allusion." --Independent