(Post)communist homelessness? Identity and belonging in Dagmara Dominczyk’s The Lullaby of Polish Girls
Languages of publication
Dagmara Dominczyk’s The Lullaby of Polish Girls mirrors her own experience as a Polish émigré of the early 1980s and touches upon the myriad stages of exile. Similarly to other American writers of Polish descent (e.g. Leslie Pietrzyk, Karolina Waclawiak or Anthony Bukoski), the writer’s debut novel explores the problematic questions of immigrant’s assimilation, desire for acceptance or one’s ties to the home country. But above all, Grażyna Kozaczka notices that “[the literary work] offers an additional option opened to Polish American fiction writers”, because the main character of the book, Anna Baran, is able to embrace both: Polish and American culture and claims two homelands as her own. Whether the protagonist is completely free from immigrant-homelessness or not, seems to be a thought-provoking matter as it seems that Dominczyk’s protagonist is engrossed in the yearning desire to return to the country of her forefathers; i.e. to Poland in general and Kielce in particular. However, the city of her birth and simultaneously the place where she spent her summer holidays, which is aptly described by the author of the novel in the moment of transition (as communist Poland of the late 1980s alters into a democratic country) belongs to the sphere of her memory and a real return to the past time is not possible. Therefore, the aim of the present paper is to shed some light upon the issues of identity, questions of belonging and nostalgic allegiance in Dominczyk’s novel The Lullaby of Polish Girls.
Publication order reference