The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Polish / Poland

Zgubiona dusza

(The lost soul)

Tokarczuk, Olga (text)
Concejo, Joanna (illus.)
Wrocław: Format, 2017. – 52 p.
ISBN 978-83-61488-74-3

Soul  | Search  | Memory  | Search for identity  | Picture book

White Ravens issue: 2018

Reading age: 8+


Jan is searching for himself. He works, he functions, but his soul has seemingly gone lost. He receives help and advice from a doctor on how to recover it. He is to go to a peaceful place and wait as long as it takes for his soul to return. Jan waits. And waits. He recalls his life up until now, remembering his childhood, and eventually recovers himself, after years have passed, it seems. A marvelous duo came together to create this poetic story. The short text by Olga Tokarczuk – one of the most important contemporary Polish writers – initiates the soul searching. The recovery of self, on the other hand, is captured by the lavish and melancholic coloured pencil illustrations of Joanna Concejo, which, as always, are extraordinary. On the yellowed paper of a notebook she lets more and more plants sprout, gradually adding animals and pictures of dancing human beings and children at the beach and in the snow. It is Jan’s soul, presumed lost.