Actress releases novel exploring immigrant life in Brooklyn
Launch party to take place in Greenpoint
In 1981 when Martial Law was declared in Poland, Dagmara Dominczyk’s father, a founding member of the workers’ union Solidarity, was imprisoned. One year later, upon his release, Dagmara and her family were deported and with only two suitcases in hand, they found themselves in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Inspired by her parents’ political history and her family’s immigrant story, Dominczyk, an actress most recently seen this winter in the Broadway revival of Golden Boy, has written “The Lullaby of Polish Girls” (Spiegel & Grau; On Sale June 4), a beautiful debut novel that follows the friendship of three women — Anna, Justyna and Kamila — from their coming of age in a small Polish town in the 1980s to their complicated adult lives.
Because of her father’s role in the Solidarity movement, Anna and her parents immigrate to the United States in the early 1980s as political refugees from Poland. They settle in Brooklyn among immigrants of every stripe, yet Anna never quite feels that she belongs. But then, the summer she turns twelve, she is sent back to Poland to visit her grandmother, and suddenly she experiences the shock of recognition. In her family’s hometown of Kielce, Anna develops intense friendships with two local girls—brash and beautiful Justyna and desperately awkward Kamila—and their bond is renewed every summer when Anna returns.
“The Lullaby of Polish Girls” follows these three best friends from their early teenage years on the lookout for boys in Kielce—a town so rough its citizens are called “the switchblades”—to the loss of innocence that wrecks them, and the stunning murder that reaches across oceans to bring them back together after they’ve grown and long since left home.
Dagmara Dominczyk’s assured narrative flashes from the wild summers of the girls’ youth to their years of self-discovery in New York and Europe. Her writing is full of grit and guts, and the emotional experiences of her characters resonate with honesty. THE LULLABY OF POLISH GIRLS captures the passion and drama of friendship, the immigrant’s yearning to be known, and the exquisite and wistful transformation of young women coming of age.
To celebrate the release of her novel, Dominczyk will appear in Brooklyn on Tuesday, June 4, at WORD Bookstore. The event will begin at 7 p.m. WORD is located at 126 Franklin St. in Greenpoint.
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Dagmara Dominczyk was born in Poland and immigrated to New York City at the age of seven. She has acted in numerous films, TV series, and plays. Most recently she appeared in the motion picture Higher Ground and on Broadway in Golden Boy. She is married to the actor Patrick Wilson, with whom she has two sons. She lives in New Jersey.
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