Longlisted for the 2022 Dzanc Books Prize in Fiction.
Category: Adult / upmarket.
Status: Available. Complete at 80,000 words.
The events of CONTROLLED CONVERSATIONS cover two weeks in the summer of 1982 in Soviet-controlled, martial-law Poland, the time and place in which no one knows whom to trust. Ordered to listen to the calls she connects, Emilia, a telephone operator in the small town of Zygmuntowo, overhears a conversation carried out in an apparent code. It continues to distract and bother her, but not as much as the growing realization that she’s falling in unsanctioned love with her best friend Kalina. Meanwhile, outside the seaside city of Frombork, Antek, a shipyard engineer and a Solidarity labor union treasurer, escapes an internment camp and works to recover the union’s money, a task which in time leads him to Emilia’s town. In the metropolitan city of Gdańsk, Roman, a secret police major, wants the money for himself. When geopolitical forces and violent men descend upon the little Zygmuntowo, Emilia must decide if she’s willing to risk prison or worse for the love of another woman.