Boundary by Zofia NalkowskaBoundary by Zofia Nalkowska


byZofia NalkowskaTranslated byUrsula Phillips

Paperback | May 30, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$41.51 online 
$45.50 list price save 8%
Earn 208 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Available for the first time in English, Zofia Nalkowska’s Boundary was originally published as Granica in Poland in 1935. The modernist novel was widely discussed upon its publication and praised for its psychological realism and stylistic and compositional artistry. Over the years, it has been translated into several languages and made into a feature film, and remains a standard text in the Polish secondary school curriculum.

Nalkowska was a pioneer of feminist fiction in Central Europe. Her observation of inequality in the treatment of men and women is at the heart of Boundary, which explores a transgressive love affair and its repercussions. She perceived that men—especially of the upper and middle classes—felt free to have sexual relations with lower class women, whereas it was not socially acceptable for women of any class to have sexual relations outside of marriage, or even admit to enjoying sex. This meant that working class women were seduced and then abandoned when they became pregnant, leaving them with the stigma of illegitimate children and the problem of finding work. Meanwhile, the higher class wives found themselves betrayed.

While Boundary can be interpreted as a novel about power and its abuses, it contains several dimensions—philosophical, emotional, existential, moral—that render it a consummate piece of social criticism. An elegantly composed work of imaginative fiction, it does not preach or offer solutions. Ursula Phillips’s excellent translation will interest readers of early twentieth century novels and scholars and students of Polish literature, feminist studies, and European modernism.
Ursula Phillips is a translator of both literary and academic works, and a writer on Polish literature. She received the 2015 Found in Translation Award for her translation of Zofia Nalkowska’s Choucas (NIU Press, 2014).
Title:BoundaryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:May 30, 2016Publisher:Northern Illinois University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0875807402

ISBN - 13:9780875807409

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

"Boundary impresses with its formal and stylistic artistry, which comes through in Ursula Phillips's translation, the first into English." —Times Literary Supplement "Zofia Nalkowska has written a first-class novel. . . . It is amazing that we have had to wait over eighty years to read it in English, and we should be grateful that we can now do so." —The Modern Novel “Boundary is an integral part of the Polish literary canon and an important achievement of European modernism. The translation will undoubtedly reshape the transatlantic version of that canon and fortify the presence of the author among English language readers.” —Bozena Shallcross, University of Chicago “Ursula Phillips’s translation is excellent. She consistently captures the subtle modulations of Nalkowska’s style, while remaining faithful to the meaning. This is a crucial contribution to the library of Polish modernism available in English.” —Stanley Bill, University of Cambridge