About Kasia Jaronczyk

Kasia emigrated from Poland in 1992, in her early teens. She is the author of a short story collection, Lemons (Mansfield Press, 2017), and co-editor of an anthology of Polish-Canadian short stories, Polish(ed): Poland Rooted in Canadian Fiction (Guernica Editions, 2017). Her prize-winning short stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada and abroad. She lives in Guelph, ON, with her husband and children.

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From the publisher:

In the linked stories of Kasia Jaronczyk’s Lemons, the lives of Basia and her family are seen through a kaleidoscopic lens that follows them over twenty years from communist Poland, to their new home in Canada, then back to Poland, to make sense of everything that has happened in the interim. A young girl struggles with her awakening sexuality in an environment where corporal punishment and male dominance are the norm, and every man, even a close relative, can be a sexual threat; where absolute obedience is demanded as a sign of love; while on the playground she struggles to find her place a hierarchy of mean, tough, but charismatic girls. Her mother’s return creates new conflicts as she fights over inheritance, offers harmful advice to friends, and accuses her daughter-in-law of a crime. Over time, the experiences of Basia and her mother Magda shift and refract the perspectives through which we view how younger and older women, and their relationships, are shaped by cultural and material changes in their lives.

To learn about Kasia’s other works, visit her website.

Praise

“In these gritty stories, Kasia Jaronczyk focuses on the intimacies of life in communist Poland and on the lingering effects it has on those who left and those who stayed. Children play in empty, concrete parking lots and brag that their fathers beat them. Family issues and sexual tensions escalate in overcrowded apartment blocks, teeming with secrecy and suspicion.”

Karen Smythe, author of This Side of Sad


“This is a strong collection of stories. Set in Poland. Then and now. The first section, Girls, is a portrait of puberty, the coming of age in a sick world. In Women, the second part, the author continues to do justice to our lamentable natures. And after you’re done, you will know how perfect that cover is. Lemons resonates. It damns.”

Kevin Tosca, author of Rigor Morris and Paris by Night 

“Reading this collection of short stories is like watching a black and white art film – you’re unlikely to forget the characters, imagery or events – and you won’t want to forget them either.”

Nicole de Nikolits, Minerva Reader