Nominated for NIKE award in 2005 for his collection of short stories, Lenora, Jerzy Łukosz has quickly followed up with a novella entitled Wide Water. It is a story with several plots, bubbling with ideas, and in it Łukosz develops some themes familiar from his earlier books. Once again he presents the story of a man who is at a crossroads in life. The main character, who is also the narrator of Wide Water, is a forty-year-old workaholic engineer leading a stable but boring life. He miraculously escapes death in a motorbike crash, but then suffers a series of misfortunes: he loses his job, his wife leaves him, he becomes half blind and deaf and is evicted from his flat. However, he does not break down – quite the opposite. This “deserter from the world beyond” discovers that he is able to live in a different way from before, and what’s more, his life is now fuller, more interesting and makes more sense. He finds pleasure in watching the world and getting to know people, falls in love and discovers new reserves of sensitivity in himself. So has Łukosz told a perverse story about a life crisis that liberates the hero from a boring, empty existence? Not only – written with a tinge of warm irony, Wide Wateris above all a book about life as a “comedy of errors” where human actions miss the target, and the meaning of events form patterns that are impossible for the protagonists to predict. It is the tale of a tragedy that marks the start of a man’s renascence, of a love of art that blends with a love of women, and of a faith so deep that it leads to violent crime.
- Robert Ostaszewski