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  • Location: Poland, Wroclaw, Brisbane

Home Is Nearby

Home Is Nearby

Why a Booktrail?

1980s: Two young people fight for their place in the world, as the Polish crisis comes to a head

  • ISBN: 978-1911293149
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical, legal/political

What you need to know before your trail

Brought up in a small village, country-girl Ania arrives in the university city of Wroclaw to pursue her career as a sculptor. Here she falls in love with Dominik, an enigmatic writer at the centre of a group of bohemians and avant-garde artists who throw wild parties. When martial law is declared, their lives change overnight: military tanks appear on the street, curfews are introduced and the artists are driven underground. Together, Ania and Dominik fight back, pushing against the boundaries imposed by the authoritarian communist government. But at what cost? ‘Home Is Nearby’ is a vivid and intimate exploration of the struggle to find your place in the world no matter where you are.

Travel Guide

Poland Wroclaw

“On my return, I was struck afresh by the beauty of Wroclaw, by a sharp desire to be here” but this is a Wroclaw shackled by the times in which they live. Anyone employed by the state has to march in a parade on May Day to show what a perfect socialist society they live in.

University of Wroclaw

Where she’s studying. This is where her relationship with art will flourish in a time when the world and life in Poland is not as safe as people would like. She feels nervous that she is in this new, free thinking world, that she has never left Poland and hopes her new friends can’t tell. Dominik, seems like a nice boy she thinks. He attends art exhibitions. ” He wasn’t like the boys from my village who shot rabbits and held peeing competitions on the bridge.”

Polish art scene

Some of Poland’s best artists have studied at the university and Ania can feel their presence in the halls, everywhere. She feels out of place and lost in a sea of creativity but vows to persevere. She’s here to succeed and to break free from her small village.

A definate must visit is The National Art Museum

Getting to know Wroclaw

” I was still getting to know Wroclaw, with its narrow lanes, its bridges and medieval churches. Of all the buildings, my favourite were the ginger bread houses that stood shoulder -to – shoulder in the old town square. They were tall, narrow structures with a jumble of pointed and flat tiled roofs, attic windows peeking out the tops”

But the other side to the city is one under the shackles of an authoritarian government. One where so-called ‘dissidents’ are captured and tortured. This is a city where any  kind of freedom, especially  the freedom of art and expression can be brutally curtailed.

Australia – Brisbane

Once the story moves to Brisbane, this is another leg of the journey towards freedom for Ania. Working in a studio on Charlotte Street is the first step towards a future. But where is home?

Streetview Maps

C) Poland - Wroclaw University
F) Australia - Brisbane - Charlotte Street Studio

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

I feel better having read this novel. I’ve taken a peek into a world I’d never considered before and feel both shocked and enlightened. Most of the story, of this romance and fight for freedom takes place in the university of Wroclaw. A place of learning and for freedom of expression, the windows of which we look through and see the changes happening to the Polish people.

The Polish crisis is in the background and never overshadows the story of the fight for freedom in other ways, but the effects of it are everywhere.
I loved the main setting of the art world and those people who study and work within in. I think this story worked on many levels because of this creative centre and surrounding political layer. The descriptions of the sculptures, paintings and joy for the art, are crafted with care. Martial art crushes everything in its path, but Ania and her friends find a way
Once the story moves to Australia, it takes on a even more poignant tone. That of home and wanting to make a place where you feel at home. Finding your own place in the world.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Home Is Nearby

Destination: Wroclaw Author/Guide: Magdalena McGuire  Departure Time: 1980s

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