Author: Michal Witkowski
Translator: Bill Martin
Original language: Polish
Published by: Portobello Books, 2009
Growing up queer in a Communist state, queens Patricia and Lucretia spent the '70s and '80s underground, finding glamour in the squalor, strutting their stuff in parks and public toilets, seducing hard Soviet soldiers, preying on drunks and seeing their friends die of Aids. Today they're about to hit Lovetown, a homo-haven, populated by a younger generation of emancipated gay people, who are out and proud in their post-Communist paradise: suntanned, sculpted and vigorously spending the pink euro. This is the story of the clash between old and new gay people - the ‘clapped out queens’ and the ‘flashy fags’ - as they meet in a place where anything goes, but some things have also been lost.
This is one of the first novels published in Poland that portrays what it was like to be ‘different’ and gay in a communist state. Lovetown received great critical acclaim upon publication in Poland and has won many literary prizes.
'This hilarious, scabrous, sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued (and brilliantly translated) novel is essentially and life-enhancingly political – if by politics we mean who gets to live, and how.'