Piotr Ibrahim Kalwas
  • Rosner & Wspólnicy
    Warszawa 2005
    123 × 195
    188 pages
    ISBN 83-89217-70-8

Piotr Ibrahim Kalwas writes independent, personal fiction, without worrying about literary fashions. In his novels he interweaves memories from childhood and youth with descriptions of journeys within parts of Africa that are rarely visited by tourists, producing fascinating tales about the search as much for his own identity as for a place in life. And these searches are not at all easy, because Kalwas is a bit of an outsider, a bit of a misfit, who goes against the grain of life (some years ago he converted to Islam, which does not happen often in Poland).

Kalwas' new book is a novel about a journey within time and space. In it he records impressions from an expedition in the wilderness of Eritrea and compares things he was inspired to imagine and dream of in his childhood, through reading an adventure story set in Eritrea, with the reality. The novel can be also be read as a meditation on the nature of time, as Kalwas discovers the nodes of time, the points where the past, the present and the future intertwine.

One of the book's great assets is the interesting picture of the Muslim world that appears on the sidelines. Kalwas has a different perception of his fellow Muslims from the media version, where the image of the fanatical Islamic fundamentalist prevails. For Kalwas the Muslims are above all people who have deep and genuine faith, for whom prayer, communication with God is not limited to taking part in empty rituals, as is often the case within Polish Catholicism.

- Robert Ostaszewski