Nights and Days
"The best epic of the interwar era" - Czeslaw Milosz
A European classic family saga, short-listed for Nobel Prize five times, filmed twice, continuously in print since 1932, now for the first time in English.
A beautifully written family saga of Polish landed gentry against the backdrop of the 1863 uprising and World War One, told from the perspective of its heroine. Washington Post called it The Polish Gone With the Wind. Filmed twice, it has remained in print since 1932 and been short-listed for the Nobel Prize five times. Here for the first time in English.
Maria Dąbrowska (1889 –1965) was a Polish writer, novelist, essayist, journalist, and playwright. She studied sociology, philosophy, and natural sciences in Lausanne and Brussels, and settled in Warsaw in 1917. Interested in literature and politics, she devoted herself to various charitable projects. In the interwar period, Dąbrowska worked temporarily in the Polish Ministry of Agriculture while gradually venturing into newspaper reporting and public life. In 1927 she became more involved in writing about human rights. In her novels, plays, and newspaper articles, she analyzed the psychological consequences of poverty and life's traumas in the world of ordinary people.
Maria married Marian Dąbrowski, who died prematurely aged 36. Her second long-term partner was the 19-years-older Stanisław Stempowski, with whom she lived in a common-law marriage until the outbreak of World War II. During the German occupation of Poland, she remained in Warsaw, was active in the cultural life of the Polish underground and met Anna Kowalska and Jerzy Kowalski, a literary couple. They formed a ménage à trois, and Maria had a child by Jerzy in 1946. He died in 1948, but the two women stayed together in a relationship for the next 20 years, although Maria made various attempts to get Anna married off again.
Dąbrowska was awarded the prestigious Golden Laurel of the Polish Academy of Literature and the Order of Polonia Restituta. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature five times.
In 1964 she was one of the signatories of the so-called Letter of 34 to Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz, protesting government imposed controls on freedom of culture. She died in 1965 at the age of 75.
She translated Samuel Pepys' Diary into Polish.