Ben Aitken’s lecture about his book “A Chip shop in Poznań”

Date: 29-10-2019 Hour: 19:00

Event place: London - Ognisko

  • Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
  • Time: 7 p.m. for 7:30 p.m.
  • Place: Ognisko – Polish Heart Club
  • Facebook event: here
  • Member Price: free but please RSVP
  • Non-member Price: £ 5
  • Entry price includes wine and cocktail snacks.

Not many Brits move to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop. Fewer still come back wanting to be a Member of the European Parliament.

In 2016 Ben Aitken moved to Poland while he still could. It wasn’t love that took him but curiosity: he wanted to know what the Poles in the UK had left behind. He flew to a place he’d never heard of and then accepted a job in a chip shop on the minimum wage.

When he wasn’t peeling potatoes he was on the road scratching the country’s surface: he milked cows with a Eurosceptic farmer; missed the bus to Auschwitz; spent Christmas with complete strangers and went to Gdańsk to learn how communism got the chop. By the year’s end he had a better sense of what the Poles had turned their backs on – southern mountains, northern beaches, dumplings! – and an uncanny ability to bone cod.

This is a candid, funny and offbeat tale of a year as an unlikely immigrant.

Ben Aitken –  was born under Thatcher, grew to 6ft then stopped, and is an Aquarius. He is the author of Dear Bill Bryson: Footnotes from a Small Island (Not Bad Books, 2015), which was featured in The Guardian, The Times and on BBC Radio, and was described by the Manchester Review as a ‘poignant comment on the state of the nation’ and a ‘highly accomplished homage’. In 2016, Aitken moved to Poland to work in a fish-and-chip shop. His second book A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland (Icon, 2019) is the fruit of that peculiar migration.

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