Poetry. Translation. Seemingly a set of prose ballads about the southeastern tip of Poland, TALES OF GALICIA brilliantly blurs the line between the short-story genre and the novel, while giving a vivid, poetic portrait of an imaginary village that was once part of a vibrant collective farm system. It is a part of Poland that – once inhabited by Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews – suddenly became homogenous after the war. Those who came to live in this region formed their own peculiar culture that lacked any sort of historical connection to what had preceded it. The village became depressed, its inhabitants largely unemployed and spending most of their time drinking in the pub. But rather than dark, naturalistic dirge, Stasiuk exhibits a Hrabalian flare for language and description that turns the banality and drudgery of these lives into poetry, with a final redemption scene that is at once comical, moving, and starkly beautiful.