In one of the first scholarly book in English on Miron Białoszewski (1922–1983), Joanna Niżyńska illuminates the elusive prose of one of the most compelling and challenging postwar Polish writers. Niżyńska’s study, exemplary in its use of theoretical concepts, introduces English-language readers to a preeminent voice of Polish literature. Niżyńska explores how a fusion of seemingly irreconcilable qualities, such as the traumatic and the everyday, imbues Białoszewski’s writing with its idiosyncratic appeal.
Białoszewski’s A Memoir of the Warsaw Uprising (1977, revised 1991) describes the Poles’ heroic struggle to liberate Warsaw from Nazi occupation in 1944 as harrowing yet ordinary. His later prose represents everyday life permeated by traces of the traumatic. Niżyńska closely examines the topic of autobiography and homosexuality, showing how Białoszewski discloses his homosexuality but, paradoxically, renders it inconspicuous by hiding it in plain sight.