Set in the mythical Polish village of Primeval, a microcosm
of the world guarded by four archangels and populated by eccentric, archetypal characters, the novel chronicles the lives of the inhabitants over the course of the feral 20th century in prose that is forceful, direct, and the stylistic cousin of the magic realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez?s One Hundred
Years of Solitude. Told in short bursts of ?Time,? the narrative takes the form of a stylized fable, an epic allegory about the inexorable grind of time and the clash between modernity
and nature in which Poland?s tortured political history from 1914 to the 1980s is played out amid the episodic brutality visited on ordinary village life. Yet Primeval and Other Times is a novel of universal dimension that does not dwell on the parochial and it established eventual Nobel Laureate Tokarczuk as one of the leading Polish and European writers.
Awarded the Koscielski Foundation Prize in 1997, Primeval
has been translated into many languages and hailed as a contemporary classic of world literature.