Olga Tokarczuk’s “Opowiadania bizarne” in German with the support of the Book Institute

In Switzerland, a translation of Olga Tokarczuk’s Opowiadania bizarne (“Tales of the Bizarre”) has been published. The book was translated by Lothar Quinkenstein. The publication was supported by the Book Institute as part of the ©POLAND Translation Programme.

The collection Die grünen Kinder, as reads the title of the German translation, has been recently published by Kampa Verlag publishing house in Zürich.

Bizarre Stories is the latest prose collection by Olga Tokarczuk. The book includes surprising and unpredictable stories that give us a different view of the reality around us.

Originating from French, the word ‘bizarre’ means strange, changeable, but also funny and unusual. This is what Olga Tokarczuk's book is like: startling and evasive of all categories.

Ten stories. Each of them takes place in a different space. Volhynia during the Swedish Deluge, modern Switzerland, remote Asia, and imaginary places. What is a sense of strangeness and where does it come from? Is strangeness a feature of the world or is it within us?

The changing rhythm of the stories makes it impossible for a reader to be sure for a moment what will happen on the next page. Olga Tokarczuk takes us out of our comfort zone, indicating that the world is becoming increasingly unfathomable. The elements of the grotesque, black humour, fantasy, and horror present in the stories demonstrate that nothing in our reality is what it seems.

This year, as part of the ©Poland Translation Programme, the Book Institute has also supported the Czech translation of Tales of the Bizarre (translated by Petr Vidlák, Host, Brno).