Living Through It Twice: Paul Polansky’s spare, stark renderings of Romany survivors’ voices have the hardness of memorial stone. But in reading them, the stone dissolves and something infinitely tender and unspeakable takes its place. The restraint and hardness hold in the tears- just barely. The Romany Holocaust, the denial of it by the Havel government, the repetition of history today- these unknowns are thrown into sharp relief by Polansky’s unblinking gaze. When we see what he sees, we no longer have an excuse to avert our eyes.
Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator, poet and author.
Black Silence: “Lety by Pisek, I never heard of it.” Paul Polansky’s cold revelations about the concentration camp in Lety by Pisek is more frightening because it is totally without pathos. His revelations are about the Gypsy people who survived Lety or their children. In Czech literature you can compare Polansky’s book probably only with David’s Star by Jiri Weil and Black Lira by Jiri Kolar. Ladies and Gentlemen, hold on to your hats, you are about to enter cold storage.