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Autorstwa Olga Kulig

okladka ksiazki Gorzko, gorzko. Joanny Bator

Bitter, bitter is the latest book of Polish author, Joanna Bator. Published by Wydawnictwo Znak in 2020.

In her latest novel, Joanna Bator describes the fates of four related women from successive generations. The protagonists are linked not only by kinship but also by love, or more precisely by the lack of it. Analysing various aspects of the lack of love, the author uncovers the dark side of human nature and depicts it as a destructive flywheel, which turns ever larger circles in each successive generation.

The initial theme is the longing for love, which ultimately arouses madness, sealing the fate of subsequent generations. Another is the inability to love, which is compounded by several factors: upbringing in an orphanage, war trauma, suffering by repeated losses and a sense of worthlessness. As a result, this nagging feeling of objectlessness leads to a fear of love in the next generation. Escaping commitment becomes a way of life, allowing only small pleasures to serve as cheap and undemanding substitutes for real feelings. This gives rise to the sense of rejection that dominates the final character.

Is it possible to break these sequences of growing un-love? How many generations does it take to do so? Are the heroines incapable of doing so and need the help of third parties? But could it be done at any point in the story, by any heroine? These questions stay with the reader long after the reading is over.

Currently the book is only available in Polish under the name Gorzko, gorzko.

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