Booksmith and Center for the Art of Translation Present: Filip Springer / History of a Disappearance

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 7:30pm

Booksmith is excited to host the Center for the Art of Translation as they welcome Polish writer Filip Springer, in town to discuss History of a Disappearance, translated by Sean Bye. Filip and Sean will be in conversation. Join us!


History of a Disappearance is the fascinating true story of Miedzianka, a small mining town in the southwest of Poland that, after seven centuries of history, disappeared in the decades after World War II. In this collection of unsparing and insightful reportage, Filip Springer rediscovers this tiny town’s history. Digging beyond the village’s mythic foundations and the great wars and world leaders that shaped it, Springer catalogs the lost human elements: the long-departed tailor and deceased shopkeeper; the parties, now silenced, that used to fill the streets with shouts and laughter; and the once-beautiful cemetery, with gravestones upended by tractors and human bones scattered by dogs. In Miedzianka, Springer sees a microcosm of European history, and a powerful narrative of how the ghosts of the past continue to haunt us in the present day. History of a Disappearance was shortlisted for the Ryszard Kapuscinski Literary Reportage Prize in 2011 and the the Nike Literary Prize in 2012 and nominated for the Gdynia Literary Prize in 2012.


“This is journalism you read holding your breath, like with a thriller, though you know it doesn’t have a Hollywood ending at all.” —Ewa Winnicka, Polityka


"...[T]he prose itself is satisfyingly dense, and it has what I look for in any good translation, a very convincing voice." —Margaret Jull Costa, Judge's Citation for Asymptote Journal's 2016 Close Approximations Translation Contest




Filip Springer is a photojournalist and writer based in Warsaw. He studied archaeology and ethnology at university and has been working as a reporter and photographer since 2006. He is a contributor to the leading Polityka journal and a member of the Photographers’ Collective. He has published four collections of reportage on socialist-era architecture and the Polish landscape.



Sean Bye is a translator of Polish, French, and Russian literature and head of humanities programming for the Polish Cultural Institute in New York. He has translated work by some of Poland’s leading nonfiction writers, including Małgorzata Szejnert, Paweł Smoleński, and Lidia Ostałowska. His translations have been published in Words Without Borders, Continents, and In Other Words.



The Center for the Art of Translation champions literary translation. The Center’s publications, events, and educational programming build audiences for literature in translation, enrich the library of vital literary works, nurture and promote the work of translators, and honor the incredible linguistic and cultural diversity of our schools and our world.



RSVP appreciated but not requiredIf you cannot attend the event, but would like to request a signed copy of History of a Dissappearance, please order below and put your request in the comments field




History of a Disappearance: The Story of a Forgotten Polish Town Cover Image
By Filip Springer, Sean Bye (Translator)
ISBN: 9781632061157
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Restless Books - April 4th, 2017