In "My Century" the great Polish poet Aleksander Wat provides a spellbinding account of life in Eastern Europe in the midst of the terrible twentieth century. Based on interviews with Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, "My Century" describes the artistic, sexual, and political experimentation --in which Wat was a major participant-- that followed the end of World War I: an explosion of talent and ideas which, he argues, in some ways helped to open the door to the destruction that the Nazis and Bolsheviks soon visited upon the world. But Wat's book is at heart a story of spiritual struggle and conversion. He tells of his separation during World War II from his wife and young son, of his confinement in the Soviet prison system, of the night when the sound of far-off laughter brought on a vision of "the devil in history." "It was then," Wat writes, "that I began to be a believer.
About the Author
RICHARD LOURIE, an American writer, is a leading translator of contemporary Russian and Polish authors, a journalist, and a producer of film and television documentaries. His books of fiction and nonfiction include The Autobiography of Joseph Stalin (1999), Hunting the Devil (1993), Russia Speaks (1989), and First Loyalty (1983).
Czeslaw Milosz won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980.