The Magpie Funeral
by Adam J. Galanski-De León
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Pub Date 22 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 12 Jan 2024
"The Magpie Funeral is a story of seeking: family, culture, but most of all, understanding-to understand others, and to be understood. The characters that make up Adam Galanski's tender-hearted, quiet novella find themselves attempting to communicate to one another, but because of their language and cultural barriers, well-meaning is often lost, creating rifts instead of bonds. So, it is in the suspended moments of silence-while harvesting mushrooms, cooking a meal-that an American-born writer and his Polish grandfather are able to connect in the Carpathian forest. Galanski has managed a sweeping family lore in an intimate space, cultivating authentic and arresting imagery that grounded me in this cherished, hallowed land, and I deeply admire Galanski's ability to write a book that reads folkloric within its modernity. The Magpie Funeral is a poignant lament that stirs the heart-it's my favorite type of story: one of complexity, compassion, and catastrophic ache."
-Kalani Pickhart, author of I Will Die in a Foreign Land
"Taking the reader along on a journey from post-industrial Pennsylvania to post-communist Poland, The Magpie Funeral carefully explores the ways that people who are supposed to love each other hurt each other instead. Galanski-De Leon balances tenderness and brutality in each sentence as he constructs a story that will stay with you like a song remembered from your childhood."
-Ben Nadler, author of The Sea Beach Line
"Adam Galanski-De Leon's The Magpie Funeral is a hunter's stew of flavors-the Polish landscape, the burn of cheap alcohol, the flurry of a bird's wing: Sit down with something to sip and dig into this novella, savor it. The Magpie Funeral is a work of connection and loss, an exploration of how the two forever hold hands."
-Daniel A. Hoyt, author of This Book is Not for You
Average rating from 19 members
The Magpie Funeral is a beautiful short story about the search for family, culture, and the need to understand others and to be understood. It is about a young American man's journey to visit his Polish grandfather in the Carpathian forest, intending to learn more about their family's past and establish a deeper connection with his roots.
Magpie Funeral is a beautifully written book that captures the essence of life's journey through an exploration of love, loss, and art in less than 100 pages. The book is full of rich, poetic language that is both inspirational and heartbreaking, leaving me yearning for more.