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The early 1980s were a time of turbulence in Poland, the beginning of the end — although no-one knew it at the time — of Communist rule. It was also a time of change for Ania, a shy village girl who comes to the university city of Wroclaw to study sculpture and discovers a world of bohemians, artists and political activists. Magdalena McGuire’s Home is Nearby follows Ania’s journey, from stone carver’s daughter to talented student to unexpected refugee, trying to adjust to a new life in a country that couldn’t be more different from the one she’d had to escape.
With engaging writing, striking scenes and memorable characters McGuire offers a fascinating and moving insight into a Cold War experience of the not-too-distant past. From authoritarian Poland to isolated Far North Queensland Home is Nearby explores the meaning of love, art, belonging and the impact of politics on the personal.