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.