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In the Polish city of Gdansk, our narrator Pawel tells of the driving lessons he took in the early 1990s, shortly after the end of communism. As he struggled with the tiny Fiat's gearbox, causing chaos while stalled at a crossroads, Pawel entertained his instructor - the lovely Miss Ciwle - with stories of his grandparents and parents lives. Through these tender stories we hear of one family's obsession with classic cars - in particular Mercedes-Benz - the outings, the races, the crashes and the inevitable repairs. Based on fact and illustrated with personal photographs, these tales contrast the golden era of Poland's pre-war independence with the dismal communist years, and with the uncertain new chapter in the country's history that had only just begun when Pawel was learning to drive. With elegant brilliance, Huelle creates a touching portrait of three generations amid life-changing historical events.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 124 x 170 x 18mm | 158.76g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • Serpent's Tail
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English, Polish
  • 10 b&w photos
  • 1852428694
  • 9781852428693
  • 972,218

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"'Pawel Huelle is one of the most well known Polish writers. In this new book his writing is at least as well oiled as a Mercedes-Benz 170 ought to be, full of stories and reads like a song' TAZ; 'Strictly enclosed by cars and roads, this city-road-movie explores the history of a whole family and era. Wonderful. As Brecht said, the simplest things are the most difficult to create' Bookmarket; 'Highly recommended. It's truly wonderful what this writer from Gdansk has managed to fit into such a tiny car' Focus"

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About Pawel Huelle

Pawel Huelle was born in 1957. The author of Who Was David Weiser?, Huelle is a novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived most of his life in Gdansk. His latest novel Castorp was published in Poland in 2004.

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