Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt: War Through a Woman's Eyes, 1939-1940
I've been looking forward to this memoir by Rulka Langer for a very long time. It's the first publication of Aquila Polonica, a new press started by Terry Tegnazian and Stefan Mucha dedicated to publishing works about the Polish World War II experience in English. The press hopes to publish firsthand accounts, memoirs, poetry, literature, photographs, artwork and historical studies. Terry Tegnazian has written that what inspires her is Poland's role in World War II. It is, she says, "possibly the most heroic and tragic of all the Allies, yet remains one of the least-known aspects of WWII to those living in the West. It is our mission to bring this amazing story to the wider English-speaking world."
Aquila Polonica's The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt: War Through a Woman’s Eyes, 1939-1940 is a rare eyewitness account of the first six months of WWII – the Nazi German invasion of Poland, the Siege of Warsaw, and the first months of the Nazi occupation – written by Rulka Langer, a civilian, a young Polish career woman and mother, who was a graduate of Vassar College in the U.S.
Her story is enhanced by the historic photographs, documents, and maps that the publishers have gathered together especially for this volume.
The book has been chosen as a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, the History Book Club, and the Military Book Club, and is endorsed by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski. Publishers Weekly calls it “an unusual take on WWII.”
The recently retired head of the Los Angeles Public Library system read it and says: “I couldn’t put the book down. Her story is riveting … utterly contemporary and compelling.”
The Mermaid is available in hardcover at your local bookstore (if it’s not in stock, they can order it for you), or online at Amazon.com.