Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book Review: 'Doing Germany: Book 2' by Agnieszka Paletta



For some well-earned down time after the holidays - or just about anytime you feel you don't care to cope with the insanities of chaotic living - here is just the antidote. Agnieszka Paletta has committed to book format her memoirs of dealing with a peripatetic life on both sides of the pond. In this book we learn that she was born in Poland, immigrated to Canada (Toronto to be specific), and in her life so far she has traveled to and worked and lived in `Canada- Poland-Canada-Italy- Poland-Italy-Canada-Poland-Germany.'

In Agnieszka’s lighthearted fashion she offers an invitation to explore this her second book: ‘None of this is fiction – it’s my life. My experiences put on paper with the intent of making people laugh, ponder, learn and travel. My Polish-Canadian-Italian-German point of view is thoroughly subjective, encased within Canadian spelling.’ She opens with a baby name search with M - ‘M raised his head from his laptop. ‘How about Maximilian?’
‘It’s one of the most popular names in Germany.’ ‘WHAT?!’ As a child in communist Cracow, Poland, I only heard of one such dude. And he was a saint! Maximilian Kolbe. A Polish friar who gave up his life for a stranger in Auschwitz during World War II. A virtuous act, true; but all I had was morbid, melancholic associations with name now. Concentration camps, catechism class (a.k.a. religion), a school or two named after him. I thought it was a totally old-fashioned, formal, ecclesiastic name. Never met a single guy in my life named Maximilian, and moreover, never even met anyone whose father (or even grandfather) was named as such.’

And that is just for openers. This second volume is even more joyous than the first, perhaps because it finds the lighter side of moving about various home countries (read displaced persons) in the midst of all the immigrant problems about which we only hear the sad side. Agnieszka keeps if popping with humor and relatable incidents that find us chuckling our way through that is a sure way to relax, kick back and simply be entertained. Let’s hope Book 3 is on the way. Grady Harp, February 16







Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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