A LONG LONG TIME AGO AND ESSENTIALLY TRUE

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Brigid Pasulka

On the eve of World War II, in a place called Half-Village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon falls in love with a girl fabled for her angelic looks. To court Anielica Hetmanskáhe offers up his “golden hands” and transforms her family’s modest hut into a beautiful home, thereby building his way into her heart. War arrives to cut short their courtship, delay their marriage, and send the young lovers far from home, to the promise of a new life in Kraków.

Nearly fifty years later, their granddaughter, Beata, repeats their postwar journey, seeking a new life in her grandmother’s fairy-tale city.

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On the eve of World War II, in a place called Half-Village, a young man nicknamed the Pigeon falls in love with a girl fabled for her angelic looks. To court Anielica Hetmanskáhe offers up his “golden hands” and transforms her family’s modest hut into a beautiful home, thereby building his way into her heart. War arrives to cut short their courtship, delay their marriage, and send the young lovers far from home, to the promise of a new life in Kraków.

Nearly fifty years later, their granddaughter, Beata, repeats their postwar journey, seeking a new life in her grandmother’s fairy-tale city. But instead of the whispered prosperity of the New Poland, she discovers a Kraków caught between its future and its past.

Whimsical, wise, beautiful, magical, and at times heartbreaking, A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True weaves together two remarkable stories, reimagining half a century of Polish history through the legacy of one unforgettable love affair.

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About Brigid Pasulka

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Praise

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Discussion Questions

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