CONTEST: Orphan. Win an award-winning Polish novel about a daughter’s complicated relationship with her mother iROZHLAS

“Mom was ashamed of several things. For her teeth, for cooking and for not having finished her studies instead of ending her pregnancy.” Mother-daughter relationship. Good advice, remorse and love. A bit unhealthy, but persistent – even death.You can play for the prosaic debut of Polish writer Miry Marcinów, who received the prestigious Paszport Polityki Prize in 2020, this week in the regular server competition.

kitchen window

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn


Copy URL address

Abbreviated address


In the book contest this week you can play for Orphan by Miry Marcinów | Source: Argo publishing house

“I don’t have a mother, what should I do?” A question in the beekeeping discussion forum under the patronage of Michalov Beekeeping.

“You can even tell that the hive is motherless from the behavior of the bees and the sounds of the hive. The bees then buzz loudly and raise their buttocks high, “say the experts. For a colony of bees, there are even a special name in the jargon: the orphan.


  • I confess that I haven’t read Polish (and not only Polish) fiction for a long time, which would be so touching, uncompromising and original.– Jerzy Doroszkiewicz,

  • The originality and singularity of the author’s stories lie in the finesse of the observation, in the dark humor and in the subversive power of language and imagination.– Justyna Sobolewska, politics

  • Meaningless reading, devoid of banality. Without pathos, lies (at least recognizable) and self-censorship.– Katarzyna Chudzik,

  • A strong and unique literary voice. Sincere and needy who teaches us unconditional love for the rest of our lives.– Jerzy Doroszkiewicz,

The author claims that she arrived at the beekeeping forum by accident. However, she admits that she herself entered the question (“I don’t have a mother, what should I do?”) into an Internet search engine. “She was the source of my greatest joy, just as she is the source of my greatest sorrow today,” Mira Marcinów says of her late mother.

The novel Orphan seems to be searching for the right words to describe his loss. His mother knows the language of popular songs and children’s songs, social networks, random stories and quotes. Sometimes it fills the whole page, other times all it takes is a short, punchy sentence.

Recalling his childhood, he writes, for example: “It was in ancient times that there was universal joy in the world and mothers did not die.

There is a lot of remorse – she had a child when she was young, she didn’t grow up on her own, she drinks a little too much, she doesn’t get along with money or men, she dresses defiantly, she’s inconsistent in her upbringing, and she’s gone before she gets old – and loves it even more.

But the orphan is above all the story of an empty place after a loved one, of a bereavement at the same time and of a society that prefers young, gay and healthy people and does not know how to die. Plus that even the mothers are to blame, of course.

And do we only love the perfect?

Extract from the book The Orphan by Miry Marcinów Source: Argo Publishing House

Contest rules

Read the general rules of the book contest with the news server

Polish writer and essayist Mira Marcinów graduated in psychology from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. He works at the Sociological and Philosophical Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, where he also organizes open philosophical and psychiatric seminars. She focuses on the history and philosophy of madness and is the author of the study History of Polish Madness, which was nominated for the Poznań Literary Prize.

The novel Osiřelec was published in Czech by Lucie Zakopalová, Argo editions.


“I don’t like it when you watch me paint. Then my hands shake and I can start right away. You always liked watching me painting. Girls have it like that. And don’t touch my back. That bores me. I don’t trust you very much. Mothers have it that way.”

Then he drinks vodka and beer. Suddenly she is cheerful, talks loudly and dances like Tina Turner. Other times she is sad, cries and smokes, runs from her nose and smears her chin.

She always looks so disinterested when we sit across from each other, a tired mother with a hangover, amicably discussing the meaning of life with me after a few beers, but I didn’t never put on the ass and at Christmas she did not ask me what it was like for the first time, the neighbors slandered her and everyone thinks that he also washes the dishes with gloves, nematodes , painted fingernails and all sorts of ornaments.

Grandma wore a nylon apron, while Mom wore heels, a sheathed leather skirt and a fitted blouse. That’s how I remember her. She was six-foot-four, had auburn hair and brown skin, and even her family called her “tall.” We still commented together, “Well, if you don’t take your heels off, you won’t be in high heels!” “I’m sixty-five feet,” she straightened up. But not in front of me.

I never saw her in confession. She never looked like this.

If you want to participate in the contest of 10 books The Orphan, write us the answer to the following question until this Friday, April 1 at 6:00 p.m. to the e-mail address

What is a one-word name called? sexually mature female bees?

Indicate in the answer:

  • Name and nickname
  • Winning address
  • Telephone or email

The winner will be drawn by the server from the correct answers, everyone can participate only once in a given round. Read more on rules.


Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn


Copy URL address

Abbreviated address


Leave a Comment