After translations into dozens of languages, this has taken seven years to appear in English, but the wait is worth it.
A twentysomething woman in the States, still hopelessly single when her best friend has finally got herself a boyfriend – it’s been done before, often, well by some, a lot less well by others. The patina of recent-ish nostalgia that comes with reading it now when it’s set in 2012 could be scraped off easily enough. Yes, there’s a Polish flavour, but it’s not “ethnic” in the strict sense of the word. Nor is it yet another I-came-from-somewhere-else-where-everything-was-grim-and-made-it-there-so-I-can-make-it-anywhere story, which can only be a good thing. But do we need another book like this?
Despite thinking all of the above as I started reading, I soon realised that Kochanie, zabiłam nasze koty wasn’t going to play out in the usual way at all. Dorota Masłowska is a mistress of the startling metaphor and her heroine is certainly not the stuff of chick lit. She appears in dreams (her own and those of her friends and neighbours) pyjama bottoms dripping with blood – yes honey, she has killed the cats. And she hardly need a hero to come and save her from drowning, does she?
If this gloriously strange book sounds like your sort of thing, give Benjamin Paloff’s translation a go – it’s out today from Deep Vellum.
And if you’re not sure, watch Marcin Nowak’s short film based on the book. That should make your mind up.