The lost soul – zgubiona dusza

The man was moving so fast he had completely forgotten why he was moving at all.

So he went to see a wise woman.

And the wise woman said, “Slow down. You have to wait for your soul to catch up.”

So – and the tales don’t always go this way – the man did what he was told.

He went home, sat down, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

All alone.

He was finally still enough to travel far and wide, into his memories of all the times and places he’d been rushing through before.

His beard grew.

His houseplants grew.

His sense of calm grew.

Until one day, he heard a knock at the door.

Olga Tokarczuk has done it again. Her beautiful picture book, with Joanna Concejo’s illustrations, is not (just) for children. It was published in 2017 by Format, but I read it in 2020, right when I needed to see the value of not charging around the world or even to the next city anymore. And in 2021, I need to read it again; because while we might have stopped rushing around physically a very long time ago now, we’re rushing around the internet at an even more breakneck speed. At Christmas I had two weeks off when I didn’t check a single email, and it was only after that that I was still enough to write about this book.

Now you can read it too. The English translation of Zgubiona dusza by Antonia Lloyd-Jones will be published on 11 February. Order The Lost Soul now from Seven Stories Press. Or wait till 23 February to get it in the US from Penguin.

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Posted in books, Illustration, Nobel Prize in Literature, translation
2 comments on “The lost soul – zgubiona dusza
  1. Thank you for not rushing!

  2. […] had time to write in 2020. When the world slowed down, she could, too (her beautiful picture book The Lost Soul, also illustrated by Joanna Concejo, was ever so prescient about slowing down). Much of her writing […]

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