Zanna Sloniowska - The House with the Stained-Glass Window - Quercus

The House with the Stained-Glass Window

By Zanna Sloniowska

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The acclaimed story of a young girl's awakening - set in the the evocative, beautiful Ukrainian/Polish city of Lviv

In 1989, Marianna, the beautiful star soprano at the Lviv opera, is shot dead in the street as she leads the Ukrainian citizens in their protest against Soviet power. Only eleven years old at the time, her daughter tells the story of their family before and after that critical moment - including, ten years later, her own passionate affair with an older, married man.

Just like their home city of Lviv, which stands at the crossroads of nations and cultures, the women in this family have had turbulent lives, scarred by war and political turmoil, but also by their own inability to show each other their feelings. Lyrically told, this is the story of a young girl's emotional, sexual, artistic and political awakening as she matures under the influence of her relatives, her mother's former lover, her city and its fortunes.

Translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Biographical Notes

Zanna Sloniowska was born in 1978 in Lviv and is a journalist and translator. She now lives in Kraków. She is the first winner of the Znak Publishers' Literary Prize, for which her novel was chosen from among over a thousand entries. In 2016, Zanna Sloniowska won the Conrad Award, the Polish award for first novels.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857057150
  • Publication date: 21 Sep 2017
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
Sloniowska writes subtly and beautifully - every phrase conjures up images, casting colourful lights just like the stained-glass window of the title. — Sylwia Chutnik
This story could only have happened in Ukraine. And then again it could have happened anywhere, because the blood on the blue-and-yellow flag is just the beginning of an intimate tale about four generations of women. — Zofia Fabjanowska-Micyk, Zwierciadlo.
Sloniowska is a fascinating story-teller who also gives insight into the reality of life in Ukraine. This is an astonishing literary discovery. — Justyna Sobolewska, Polityka.
A city of women's mysteries, and History, which the author constantly re-interprets. Zanna Sloniowska surprises and seduces. — Jaroslaw Czechowicz, Krytycznym Okiem.
A moving, incisive saga about women entangled by historical events. — Anna Szulc, Newsweek Polska.
This novel was written as a challenge to crushing, cruel history; it arose from a desire to give a voice to the individual experiences of women. But at a certain point it turns in a direction contrary to its original ambitions, and the counter-history disappears in the fog of exploding smoke grenades. — Dariusz Nowacki, Gazeta Wyborcza.

Davide Longo

Davide Longo was born in 1971 in the Province of Torino. In addition to novels he writes books for children, short stories and articles, and his texts have been used in musical and theatre productions.

Derek Robinson

Derek Robinson, the son of a policeman, read history at Cambridge before working in advertising in London and New York. His novel Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1971.

Dominique Sylvain

Dominique Sylvain worked as a journalist in Paris before relocating to Asia where she lived for spells in Japan and Singapore. She is the author of thirteen crime novels and now lives once more in Tokyo where she writes full-time.

Ed O'Loughlin

Ed O'Loughlin was born in Toronto and raised in Ireland. He reported from Africa for the Irish Times, and was Middle East correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age of Melbourne. His first novel, Not Untrue & Not Unkind was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2009. His second novel, Toploader, was published by Quercus in 2011.

Eileen Horne

Eileen Horne was born in California, and has lived in Italy and London for thirty-five years. She spent two decades as a television producer in the UK, founding her own production company in 1997 and making over a hundred hours of drama, among them two projects inspired by Zola's novels.She now combines writing, including adaptations for radio and television, with teaching and editing. Her first book, The Pitch, was published by Faber in 2006 and she translated an Italian novella for the MacLehose Press collection Judges (2014). She lives in London and Umbria with her husband and daughter.

Elaine Proctor

Elaine Proctor was born in South Africa. She became involved in the anti-apartheid movement as a teenager and filmed several political documentaries up until 1986, when the political situation made it impossible for her to continue and she left to study at the National Film and Television School in Britain. She has made several films, including On The Wire (winner of the British Film Institute's Sutherland Trophy) and Friends (selected by the Cannes Film Festival and winner of the Mention Speciale - Prix de Camera D'Or), has written a series for the BBC and published two novels, Rhumba and The Savage Hour. She sits on the chapter for screenwriting at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is a member of the Writer's Guild of Great Britain. Elaine lives in Queen's Park, London.

Eleanor Prescott

Eleanor Prescott has worked in PR for ten years. She lives in Kent with her husband, son and daughter. Alice Brown's Lessons in the Curious Art of Dating is her first novel.

Elizabeth Brundage

Elizabeth Brundage graduated from Hampshire College, attended the NYU film school, was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and received an M.F.A. as well as a James Michener Award from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop. She has taught at a variety of colleges and universities, most recently at Skidmore College as a visiting writer in residence. She lives near Albany in upstate New York.

Elizabeth Gill

Elizabeth Gill was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and as a child lived in Tow Law, a small mining town on the Durham fells. She has been a published author for more than thirty years and has written more than forty books. She lives in Durham City, likes the awful weather in the north east and writes best when rain is lashing the windows.

Elizabeth Hay

Elizabeth Hay is the bestselling, award-winning author of Late Nights on Air, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other works include A Student of Weather (finalist for the Giller Prize and the Ottawa Book Award), Garbo Laughs (winner of the Ottawa Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award), and Small Change (stories). In 2002, she received the prestigious Marian Engel Award. Elizabeth Hay lives and writes in Ottawa.

Elizabeth Heathcote

Elizabeth Heathcote has worked as a feature writer and editor on newspapers and magazines for many years. Her jobs have included women's editor and deputy features editor at the Independent on Sunday, as well as freelance feature writing for publications such as the Independent, Observer, Guardian, Marie Claire and Red. She is presently associate editor at Psychologies magazine. Elizabeth's home is southeast London, where she lives with her partner and two children.

Esther Verhoef

Esther Verhoef was born in 1968 and gained recognition for her critically acclaimed action thrillers Restless and Under Pressure. Both were shortlisted for the Golden Noose and Under Pressure was awarded the Diamond Bullet, both prizes for best thriller of the year. She is also the author of Rendez-Vous, which was awarded the 2006 Silver Fingerprint, the Dutch public award for best thriller of the year.

Eva Rice

Eva Rice has written three novels and one non-fiction book. She is married to a musician and has three children. She lives in London.

Hannah Michell

Hannah Michell was born in Yorkshire in 1983 and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. She studied Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, then received an MA in Creative Writing from City University. She has worked for the Economist, Penguin Books and now lectures on Korean pop culture at the University of California, Berkeley. Her first novel, The Defections, was published in 2014.

Hervé Le Corre

Hervé Le Corre was born in Paris and is currently teaching in the suburbs of Bordeaux, France, and is the author of several crime fiction novels. He also writes for the literary magazine Le Passant Ordinaire.

Hideo Yokoyama

Hideo Yokoyama (Author)Born in 1957, Hideo Yokoyama worked for twelve years as an investigative reporter with a regional newspaper north of Tokyo, before becoming one of Japan's most acclaimed fiction writers. His exhaustive and relentless work ethic is known to mirror the intense and obsessive behaviour of his characters; and in January 2003 he was hospitalized following a heart attack brought about by working constantly for seventy-two hours. Six Four is his sixth novel, and his first to be published in the English language.Jonathan Lloyd-Davies (Translator)Jonathan Lloyd-Davies studied Japanese at Durham and Chinese at Oxford; he currently works as a translator of Japanese fiction. His translations include Edge by Koji Suzuki, with co-translator Camellia Nieh, the Demon Hunters trilogy by Baku Yumemakura, Gray Men by Tomotake Ishikawa, and Nan-Core by Mahokaru Numata. His translation of Edge received the Shirley Jackson award for best novel. Originally from Wales, he now resides in Tokyo.

Hilary Boyd

Hilary Boyd trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, then as a marriage guidance counselor. After a degree in English Literature at London University in her thirties, she moved into health journalism, writing a Mind, Body, Spirit column for the Daily Express. She published six non-fiction books on health-related subjects before turning to fiction and writing a string of bestsellers, starting with Thursdays in the Park. Hilary is married to film director/producer Don Boyd.

Joanna Kavenna

Joanna Kavenna is the author of The Ice Museum, Inglorious (which won the Orange Prize for New Writing), The Birth of Love, Come to the Edge and A Field Guide to Reality. Her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, Spectator, London Review of Books and New York Times and she has held writing fellowships at St Antony's College Oxford and St John's College Cambridge. In 2011 she was named as one of the Telegraph's 20 Writers Under 40 and in 2013 was listed as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in Oxfordshire.

Joël Dicker

Joël Dicker was born in Geneva in 1985, where he studied Law. The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair was nominated for the Prix Goncourt and won the Grand Prix du Roman de l'Académie Française and the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens. It has sold more than 3.6 million copies in 42 countries. The Baltimore Boys, at once a prequel and a sequel, has sold more than 750,000 in France.

Jón Kalman Stefánsson

Jón Kalman Stefánsson was born in Reykjavik in 1963. His novels have been nominated three times for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature (2001, 2004, 2007) and his novel Summer Light, and then Comes the Night received the Icelandic Prize for Literature in 2005. He is the recipient of the annual P.O. Enquist Award, which is bestowed on young writers who are beginning to make a significant impact on the European literary scene.