Home is Nearby

When martial law is declared in 1980 Poland, Ania and Dominik’s lives change overnight. Together, they fight back. But at what cost?


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Winner of the 2016 Impress Prize for New Writers

1980: the beginning of the Polish Crisis. 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?


‘A tender, moving tale of beauty amidst loss, you’ll be utterly immersed in Ania’s world. Home Is Nearby is an impressive debut by an exciting new voice.’ – Mark Brandi, author of Wimmera, Winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger

‘A moving, powerful snapshot of Poland’s turbulent history and of the migrant’s experience of losing one future and piecing together another in a new country.’ – Katherine Brabon, author of The Memory Artist and winner of the Australian/Vogel’s literary award


‘Part of my impetus in writing my novel is that I wanted to explore this lost Poland, the country I could’ve grown up in, but didn’t. In particular, I wanted to explore what life could have been like for a young woman living under communism and making art.

Nineteen-eighties Poland provides a dramatic and underexplored setting to examine the types of questions I’m interested in. What was it like to live through a turbulent period in history, when your civil liberties were taken away? How was it that artists managed to make such exciting work when, officially, they were stripped of artistic freedom? And what might happen if love and politics came into conflict?

Although communist Poland provides the context for exploring these questions, they are, of course, questions that have universal significance.’ (Magdalena McGuire)

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