Objects of Affection
Place Published: Braddock, PA
Publisher: Braddock Avenue Books
Date Published: January 30, 2018
Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough arrived in the United States from Poland in 1984, bringing memories of life under a totalitarian regime, where the personal was always political. In essay after essay in Objects of Affection, her remarkable debut, Hryniewicz-Yarbrough shows the immigrant’s double perspective, exploring a “bi-polar” world of displacement and rootlessness, geography and memory, individual and family history, always with an acute awareness of losses and gains that accompany adaptation to a new language and culture and the creation of a new identity.
Praise for Objects of Affection
Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough's Objects of Affection is exquisite. Compact, powerful, and insightful, her essays accrue to an arresting thinker's spiritual and intellectual autobiography that illuminates, in a glib and divisive era, the complex experience of immigration, taking up questions of language, culture, memory, identity, and history with eloquence and an alertness to those moments when our common humanity shines through. These are essays to savor.
—Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House: A Memoir and Love & Fury
“We live much more in a language than in a country,” Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough, essayist and translator, writes in her stunning first collection, Objects of Affection. “Places are both physical and metaphysical,” and “only things that vanish stay forever the same” in memory. There is wisdom and sweet pathos in these nineteen exquisitely wrought meditations, but above all, I felt happy reading them, guided by a sure-handed writer through the “messy materiality” of existence, first in her early years on the “wrong side” of the Iron Curtain, then in a new equally compelling life in an America not yet “choked by politics.” I longed to stay with her words and in her worlds.
—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American
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Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough is a native of Poland. Her essays were published in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, and TriQuarterly. One of her pieces, “Objects of Affection” was selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2012; four others were listed among Notable Essays for 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015. She divides her time between Boston and Kraków.