DREAMS AND REALITY Polish Canadian Identities
(...)I was delighted also to receive the books, and I have already started reading my copy. It is written with genuine feeling for the very special circumstances that the Polish immigrants encountered upon setting in Canada and I’m certain that it will give the Polish reader a new appreciation of what the Polish settlers have accomplished. Needless to say, I was particularly gratified by the chapter regarding my father.
I would be happy to send you copies of my most recent books, provided there was some way of making certain that they reach you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.
With kind regards,
Zbigniew Brzezinski, January 5, 1987, Washington, DC USA
„Here is another important addition to the history of the human side of immigration to Canada. This book by Aleksandra Ziolkowska, translated by Wojtek Stelmaszynski, contains 31 narratives about Polish immigrants in Canada. The stories depict the difficult beginnings of these immigrants, some ending in disappointment, some leading to an outstanding success. All the profiles in this volume describe real people and actual events. The author’s goal is to give a true cross-section, an honest representation of attitudes, personalities, careers and ways of thinking”.
George Bonavia, Books Noted For You, NORTHERN MOSAIC. Dec-Feb., 1985
„In her 1984 short-story collection „Dreams & Reality” Polish Canadian Identities”, published in Polish as „Kanada, Kanada”, Aleksandra Ziolkowska-Boehm chronicles the daily struggles of postwar Polish immigrants in Canada. With characters such as Maciej, a recently arrived laborer in Canada, who finds himself employed by a miserly farmer who refuses to take him to the doctor after he injures his arm, and Stefan, a shoe factory janitor, who gives his address to an ill-mannered priest in hopes of getting a job at the parish’s Polish school, only to receive Sunday offering envelopes instead, the stories capture the daily tempests weathered by many postwar displaced-persons. With a well-trained eye and concise writing style, Ziolkowska-Boehm, a recipient of the Kontrasty and Zloty Exlibris awards, allows the reader to experience the uncertainty, joy, and discrimination endured by the masses of twentieth-century Polish immigrants to North America”.
Charles R.Kaczynski, THE POLISH REVIEW, New York, No 4, 2004.
“Information concerning cultural maintenance is provided in William Makoski "The Polish People in Canada: A Visual History " (Montreal, 1987), which also includes an extensive bibliography of commemorative publications on the cultural life of Polish Canadians. Anna Zurakowska, ed., "The Proud Inheritance Ontario's Kaszuby" (Ottawa, 1991) describes the oldest surviving Polish rural settlement in Canada. Polish identities are the topic of an article by Henry Radecki ,"Ethnic Identities in Contexts,", "Laurentian University Review, vol 13, no 1(1980), while Aleksandra Ziolkowska presents thirty-one individual views of self-identity in "DREAMS AND REALITY: POLISH CANADIANS IDENTITIES" (Toronto, 1984).” ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CANADA'S PEOPLES by Paul R. Magocsi, Multicultural History Society of Ontario, University of Toronto Press, 1999, pg 1075, ISBN 0-8020-2938-8
INTERNETTalent of observations, August 12, 2001
Reviewer: A reader from Toronto, Canada
The book is written beautifully and I learned about my fellows Polish immigrants a lot. I can be proud of them. It is written with genuine talent of observation, showing interesting details, thoughtful thoughts, impressions. I recommend the book for everyone who wants to immigrate, not to scare him/her, but to appreciate the circumstances the others had to go through. This book helps to appreciate the new adopted country, and... to love the old country - Poland.
Very touching and true stories!, January 13, 2001
Reviewer: Michael Kopacky (see more about me) from Washington, D.C. USA
The talented writer shows her interest in Polish immigrants to Canada - their life and struggles, their hopes and disappointments. It shows the achievement and happiness they found in a new country and a new environment. The book is true, touching and very well written. The original title in English "Dreams and Reality".
“I have read over 100 pages of “Dreams and Reality” finding it interesting and absorbing. The personal stories and opinions of the characters make it worthwhile reading (…)
Erik Boehm, November 11, Layton, Utah
Aleksandra’s book is very interesting and I like the fairness of her reports. One gets very good an impression about the difficulties and the life as it was at that time. Many people nowadays could learn from the ones who had to rebuild their existence in a foreign country”.
Christa Kraft, 5 December 1994, Bad Kissengen, Germany
FRAGMENTS WERE PUBLISHED IN:
*GOOD NEWS (Miami)1997, “Down the Farm” str. 71-73, In English
*LANGUAGE BRIDGES (Richardson, Texas) In English, Summer 1992, pg. 17-20
*NORDOST-ARCHIV VIII/ 1999. Luneburg 2001, Germany str.765-787