Witold Szabłowski’s THE DANCING BEARS is now available in full edited English translation
“Witold Szablowski is a born storyteller. His reports from the post-Communist world read like fairy-tales with the stench of reality. Absurd, darkly funny, compassionate, his book is a literary jewel.”
— Ian Buruma
“Mixing bold journalism with bolder allegories, Mr. Szablowski teaches us with witty persistence that we must desire freedom rather than simply expect it.”
— Timothy Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of On Tyranny, Black Earth, and Bloodlands
In his book Szabłowski investigates the story of freed tame bears in Bulgaria but also visits other countries where freedom is still out of people’s reach. He hitchhikes in Kosovo, freshly proclaimed independent, drives Cubans worried for Fidel Castro in his battered Peugeot, argues about Stalin with female guides at his museum, smuggles a car to Ukraine and sleeps at the Victoria Station in London together with a homeless woman from the Polish town of Pabianice. In his book we are all shown as dancing bears, both pained and exhilarated by our newly found freedom.