This book has been wallowing on my shelves for eons. I think I bought it during the summer holiday, before moving o the UK, so more than ten years ago. I’ve never been to a seaside holiday in my adopted country, but in Poland what you will typically find, among hundreds of places to eat a fish and buy tacky beach gear, is a tent with discounted books. All the things that publishers are trying to offload because it didn’t go too well in the first place. Basically the last stop before recycling.
Joanna Szczepkowska is a Polish actress and writer. The title boils down to Sand Made of Glass. The book is a selection from the column she had in Wysokie Obcasy (High Heels, a weekly magazine for women issued by one of the major Polish newspapers). The texts are short, sometimes funny, sometimes serious. Szczepkowska often is inspired by what she’s seen on the street in a given week and weaves her thoughts around a specific situation, sometimes to extrapolate it, sometimes not.
It’s a short book and short texts, so really there is no way for a more developed discussion, but some of them are quite funny. She has a sharp eye to human failings but also writes about them with sensitive irony, not scathing sarcasm. It changes a bit when she writes about broader issues, then her tone becomes in turns confrontational and preachy. She clearly is very set in her opinions, which is fine, but also often has little understanding for other options.
I won’t dwell on it too much, as there’s little chance it’ll ever be translated. All in all a good book to quickly read on a beach. Nothing more, nothing less.