Andrew J. Borkowski
- Title: Copernicus Avenue
- Author: Andrew J. Borkowski
- ISBN: 9781770860018
- Page: 424
- Format: Paperback
You will never know what really happened to Lech or any of us We mean nothing by it, darling It is a silent agreement we all have with ourselves, that nothing will ever make us prisoners again, not even memory Set primarily in the neighbourhood of fictional Copernicus Avenue, Andrew Borkowski s debut collection of short stories is a daring, modern take on life in Toro You will never know what really happened to Lech or any of us We mean nothing by it, darling It is a silent agreement we all have with ourselves, that nothing will ever make us prisoners again, not even memory Set primarily in the neighbourhood of fictional Copernicus Avenue, Andrew Borkowski s debut collection of short stories is a daring, modern take on life in Toronto s Polish community in the years following World War II Featuring a cast of young and old, artists and soldiers, visionaries and madmen, the forgotten and the unforgettable, Copernicus Avenue captures, with bold and striking prose, the spirit of a people who have travelled to a new land, not to escape old grudges and atrocities, but to conquer them.
Recent Comments "Copernicus Avenue"
After learning that many of the stories are interconnected I immediately wanted to read the collection again, knowing I'd have a very different experience than I did reading the stories as separate entities. This just goes to show that this book can hold its own as both as novel and as a collection of stories. To my knowledge, not many authors are able to accomplish such a thing.And while I can't speak for the Polish experience within this book, I can speak for the how Canada (and Toronto) is re [...]
*More of random thoughts than an actual critical review*The author did a really good job of capturing that Polish immigrant feel and the spirit of Poles. Though this book takes place in Canada, I can definitely see the story as being set in Chicago or some other Polish city instead. In addition, I can even see some parts of the characters in people that I know. Perhaps it means that the cities (or most immigrant cities) follow the same pattern a way, it's sad. Reading this book gave me a sense o [...]
A linked collection of short stories set in Toronto's Polish community, both in Toronto (Roncesvalles Village) from the immediate postwar era forward and in Europe. I enjoyed the evocative descriptions of the city (reminded me a bit of In the Skin of a Lion), and the exploration of the effects of war and migration as first generation immigrants tried to settle in their new country, haunted by what had occurred in their old one. Borkowski also movingly explores the generation gap between immigran [...]
If (like myself) you're a Polish-Canadian, and live anywhere near Toronto, you know all about Roncesvalles Avenue. This fictional re-imagining of this iconic neighbourhood and its people hits so many powerful notes in my psyche that it may as well be a documentary. Even if you're not subject to the cultural nostalgia as I am, this remains a powerful evocation of a Toronto ethnic enclave in transition during the decades after WWII. A wonderful, poignant, beautiful read.
~*~For this review and others, visit the EditorialEyes Blog.~*~3.5 out of 5The Poland of Andrew J. Borkowski’s Copernicus Avenue is a land of shifting borders but eternal meaning, shaping and shadowing everything that happens in each character’s life. A set of linked short stories, the book’s setting shuttles between Poland and the Polish Canadian neighbourhood of west Toronto, on the fictional Copernicus Avenue. Spanning many decades, the book tells the overarching story of the Mienkiewic [...]
If you have a Polish background and are familiar with the Polish community of the Roncesvalles Avenue you will love it. I know the area somewhat but am not Polish so for me it was an interesting story.
Andrew is a local hero in our neighbourhood, winning the Toronto Book Award and all that. I've heard him read twice and would recommend the experience to anyone who has the opportunity.The book is pretty good, too! I'm used to cutting local authors a lot of slack simply because they're local, but this book doesn't need the kid gloves to come out. A solid half of the stories are really good and would stand on their own in any collection. The other half range from decent to okay. A few stories see [...]
Other than two embarrassing copy-editing mistakes glaring out at me on Page 3 which caused me to feel sad about the state of publishing today and to be gravely upset on the author's behalf, and another two in later stories in this work which I also noted as they interrupted my late night reading, this was an unbelievably terrific collection of short stories, linked commonly by Copernicus Avenue, a street in Toronto where generations of fictionalized post World War II Polish immigrants have made [...]
These stories were written with just the right touch. It would have been easy for them to deteriorate into cheap sentimentality at times, but, they never do. Borkowski keeps the emotion real. The writing in St. David's Day was exceptionally well done, particularly in regards to the running of the Lancaster bomber. Borkowski had me believing he must be a pilot himself to write with such ease and detail. I only wish the book was longer. Perhaps another book is in order to more fully flesh out the [...]
This review was deleted following 's purchase of GoodReads. The review can still be viewed via LibraryThing, where my profile can be found here.I'm also in the process of building a database at Booklikes, where I can be found here.If you read/liked/clicked through to see this review here on GR, many thanks.
When I say I 'discarded' it, doesn't mean I disliked it. I liked the looksee around the streets of west Toronto but after a few stories, I lost interest.We discussed it at HP Library for October's book of the month.But I cannot, in all honesty count it as one of my 100 challenge for the year 'cause I didn't finish it.
An fine collection of stories that beutifully distills a view of the Polish immagrant experience in Toronto since World War II. The characters wrestle with the tyranny of the past and their hope for the future. If the conclusion of Alexei's story is a shade too pat, the descriptions of life in the neighbourhood of Toronto's Roncesvalles Avenue more than compensate.
This book provides snapshots into a small Polish community in Toronto. Although in short story form, with very few changes this book could have been made into a novel, but is fine the way it is written now. I like how some of the same characters are carried through the book and are developed in each short story, but each story can stand on its own.
This just was NOT my kind of book at all. I did read it all as it had been recommended by a dear friend but it was a slog & I must admit to skimming a lot! Maybe a man would enjoy it more as it's filled with planes, marching, etc.Was hoping to like it after hearing A J Borkowski interviewed. Sorry!
Striking and moving, but the use and spelling of Polish was quite inconsistent. "The Trees of Kleinsaltz" and "St. David's Day" were particularly interesting. I enjoyed the structure as well as the subject matter.
As a writer, this is one of those books that you read and say to yourself: I wish I could write like that. Andrew J.Borkowski has done a terrific job in stitching a collection of short stories together. The layered setting in Toronto is reminiscent of Little Poland.
specific, evocative(way to go, Andrew!)
Each story now offered as a cStories eBook Single! Check it out - wintories !
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