“Leonard Kniffel writes with such naturalness, humor, and shared humanity that his
    personal journey of discovery of The Motherland becomes the reader's journey as well.
    Kniffel's keen observation is ultimately a measure of the depth of his feeling.”──Stuart
    Dybek, author of Coast of Chicago

    “Kniffel's A Polish Son in the Motherland is both Poland and a more personal geography.
    This is a lovely book, closely observed, intelligent, humorous and also wistful, as Kniffel
    muses on the might-have-beens along with the past.”──Elizabeth Ehrlich, author of
    Miriam's Kitchen: A Memoir

    “. . . human, genuine, clever, insightful, and humorous . . . contains wonderful depictions  
    of interesting people and situations. The author does a great job depicting the Polish
    culture and lifestyle, as well as small town life; his descriptions of various festivals,
    customs, religious ceremonies, etc. give an informative and colorful picture of Poland. . . .
    a pleasure to read.”──James Felak, University of Washington

    “. . . this book goes beyond personal memoir. By evoking the history, culture, and
    landscape of Poland, Kniffel writes of a people filled with heartbreaking loss and deep
    resilience. . . . His journey becomes our journey: one of self-discovery and hope, one       
    of longing and reconciliation, the one that truly matters.”──Linda Nemec Foster,      
    poet and author of Amber Necklace from Gdansk

                                  WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING

    “…what person wouldn’t love to explore the actual country of his or her ancestors and
    meet long-lost relatives? Kniffel…has written a charming and novel-like memoir of such   
    an exploration, filled with interesting characters….Kniffel is an astute observer who    
    paints his acquaintances exactly as he sees them, without romanticism.”—–Maria C.
    Bagshaw, Library Journal, September 1, 2005

    “In an easy, comfortable, and humorous narrative voice, which reflects his   
    perceptiveness, Kniffel takes readers along with him on this sustaining voyage of           
    self-discovery, a story brimming with vibrant characters who could have come right         
    out of a good village-life novel.”—– Brad Hooper, Booklist, March 1, 2005

    “Leonard Kniffel...recounts his personal history, inviting readers along on a search for    
    his mother’s family in a small town in Poland. Whether Kniffel finds his relatives or not is
    irrelevant; the pleasure of this book is the author’s dry-humored yet sympathetic take on
    the meeting of disparate worlds bound by family and friends.”—–Walter Wasacz,    
    Detroit Metrotimes, April 27—May 3, 2005

    “[Kniffel] writes with sympathy and affection for the people he meets, most of whom are
    grateful for his interest. The book gives readers not only a knowledge of modern     
    Poland, but a feeling for the strength of familial bonds.”—–Georgina Cruz, South   
    Florida Sun-Sentinel, August 21, 2005

    “[Kniffel] discovered an entire family tree of cousins and a rich variety of colorful
    characters who introduced him to the history, culture, politics, and cuisine of ...Poland.
    Highlights of the trip include Kniffel’s finding a copy of his grandmother’s birth       
    certificate and photos of his grandparents...and the sad stories told by Pani
    Wituchowska….”—–George Eberhart, College & Research Libraries News,              
    May 2005

    “Mr. Kniffel traveled to Poland in search of his ‘roots,’ to find out what factors caused      
    his grandmother to leave Poland and to travel ‘do Ameryki,’ and why she did not feel
    completely ‘at home’ in America. What Mr. Kniffel finds raises questions about place,
    family, tradition, and progress.”—–Jan M. Lorys, The Polish Museum o f America
    Newsletter, Spring 2005

    “[Kniffel’s] adventures are heart rendering, enlightening and funny….At all times during  
    his trip he wonders if his grandmother walked down this very street or shopped at this
    market. The book is a wonderful experience to satisfy his desire for reconciliation in a
    humorous and wistful manner.”—–Florence Waszkelewicz Clowes, Polish American
    Journal, September 2005

    “I am confident that anyone who longs to explore their heritage or return to their  
    homeland, even if in imagination and memory, will find Mr. Kniffel’s memoir a tender
    account of a passionate search for one’s roots…. Its particular magic has increased my
    desire to experience a similar journey to my own ancestral homesites. A unique and
    enjoyable travelogue….”──Stephanie Sweas, Rodziny: The Journal of the Polish
    Genealogical Society of American, Winter 2007

    “Leonard Kniffel’s skill as a writer is clear in this finely composed family story and
    travelogue. He is a cordial visitor in Poland, but his observations are honest and he     
    does not shy away from asking uncomfortable questions.” ──Arlene Lane, Illinois    
    State Genealogical Society Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 2.

    “A wonderful book….It details an American’s journey to discover his mother’s roots in
    Poland. Author Leonard Kniffel is also the editor and publisher of the magazine of the
    American Library Association and his six-month non-fiction sojourn comes off as very
    interesting storytelling….A great read.”──James Conroyd Martin, author of Push     
    Not the River

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