have both a long literary tradition and a more recent history of totalitarian oppression. It's a place where the power and significance of words cannot be denied, ignored, or turned into some kind of ironic aside.
Adam Zagajewski has not (yet) won the Nobel. A Pole born at the end of World War II, he came of age before the collapse of the Wall and to maturity during the rebellions in Poland during the 1980s. Since the early 1990s he has split his time among Krakow, Paris, and various places in the United States where he has held teaching posts, usually for half a year. He writes about great cities where history and myth often clash with the concerns of daily life. Willing to confront large themes, he also has a keen eye for the tiny, luminous detail.