Read An Excerpt:
A Summer of the Forest Folk
by Maria Rodziewiczówna (author) and Tom Pinch (translator)
A classic tale of the healing power of nature… with an LBGTQ twist.
A European best-seller, continuously in print since 1920, now for the first time in English.
Three men (women?) spend each summer in a remote cottage in the last virgin forest of Europe. This summer, they are joined by their teenage nephew from the big city.
First published in 1920, the book quickly became a classic because of its beautiful style, setting, and its heartwarming story. A Catholic nation has worshiped the tale for a century. Kids have read it in school. Grandparents have read it to their children. Then a gay scholar broke the story: the novel is in fact a roman-à-clef and the three "men" are, in fact, lesbians living in (gasp!) a ménage à trois!
Maria Rodziewiczówna (1863-1944) was one of the most prolific and successful Polish authors of her times and nearly all her books remain popular and in print today. She was descended from a gentry family, which, for its participation in the 1863 uprising, had their properties confiscated, was raised in very difficult circumstances and was entirely self taught beyond sixth grade. Coming of age, she inherited a heavily indebted country estate, cut her hair short, assumed man's clothing, and took over the management of the farm, at which she proved very successful.
As a teenager, Maria declared that she would never marry. She spent her life with two women, Helena Weychert and Jadwiga Skirmuntt, and their arrangement was that Maria would spend a few winter months in Warsaw with Helena, and the rest of the year on her country estate with Jadwiga.
During her life only Irena Krzywicka would publicly imply that Maria was a lesbian, in a 1936 article in Wiadomości Literackie. Maria's behavior and attire were very masculine and noted by her contemporaries for that. Krzysztof Tomasik called her "the first butch of Polish literature".
One possible reading of A Summer is that it really describes the relationship between the three women (disguised in the novel as men).
PAPERBACK: 978-9998791725 $15.99
Translated and co-authored by