Agnieszka Dale

Fox Season

Agnieszka Dale

IN FOX SEASON: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, her debut collection, Agnieszka Dale exhibits a knack for opening lines. They are sometimes titillating: “For sex with Manolo, Bianca went to the Vatican Gardens” (“One Less Button”); sometimes scatological: “Shit came by the house, unannounced, like a bomb” (“A Shit Story”); and sometimes troubling: “It was Christmas, which should have made it easier to do the killing” (“The Christmas Pig”). The best, such as that from the wonderfully captivating story “Hello Poland,” combine character, imagery, and conflict in one tightly worded package: “On the way up the escalator, a Warsaw escalator, breathing Warsaw air, Jan sees women’s buttocks.” In that one sentence, we not only get a sense that Jan is slightly overwhelmed by his surroundings, but also a sense of his personal drivers. And yet, despite the narrator’s repeated references to his healthy libido, Jan is not entirely lecherous. The story, like so many in this collection, is more serious than it first appears.


Praise for Fox Season and Other Short Stories

“Fascinating and refreshingly honest stares at life in a foreign place, whatever that definition might be.”Zoë Apostolides, Financial Times

“A barbed love letter to Brexit Britain”Tamim Sadikali, Open Pen

“IN FOX SEASON: AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, her debut collection, Agnieszka Dale exhibits a knack for opening lines. They are sometimes titillating: “For sex with Manolo, Bianca went to the Vatican Gardens” (“One Less Button”); sometimes scatological: “Shit came by the house, unannounced, like a bomb” (“A Shit Story”) and sometimes troubling: “It was Christmas, which should have made it easier to do the killing” (“The Christmas Pig”). The best, such as that from the wonderfully captivating story “Hello Poland,” combine character, imagery, and conflict in one tightly worded package: “On the way up the escalator, a Warsaw escalator, breathing Warsaw air, Jan sees women’s buttocks.” In that one sentence, we not only get a sense that Jan is slightly overwhelmed by his surroundings, but also a sense of his personal drivers. And yet, despite the narrator’s repeated references to his healthy libido, Jan is not entirely lecherous. The story, like so many in this collection, is more serious than it first appears.”Loree L. Westron, LA Review of Books

“Dale is between cultures, rooted in one, integrated into another, perfectly placed as observer and participant. She writes with an entrancing blend of distance and intimacy. In this country, she is an immigrant, but one wh knows us and our language too well for comfort. Reading her, it feels that someone who has learned to be one of us, now does it better than we do. She knows what makes us laugh, and what makes us laughable.”Jeremy Hardy, comedian

“Agnieszka Dale’s impressive debut depicts on a large canvas our current world of chaos. Her sharp, humorous, sensitive and metaphorical style confirms that a new exciting voice has arrived on the scene.”Xiaolu Guo, author of A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, nominated for 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction

“Agnieszka Dale’s psychological territory is bridge-building. She straddles the land of her birth—Poland—and her adoptive UK home. National shape-shifting and the individual’s pliability in reconciling the personal and the communal are the underpinnings of her work; she takes to them with gusto.”John Munch, Riveting Reviews, European Literature Network

“Be very careful when reading Agnieszka Dale’s book, because her stories are memorable and have the perverse power to redefine concepts such as identity, nation, immigration, and homeland. They can change your whole perspective on the world. A most intriguing debut!” Wioletta Greg, author of Swallowing Mercury, longlisted for 2017 Booker International Prize


The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story is a thriller based on Agatha Christie’s “Hercule Poirot’s” Christmas.” Dale reworks the themes of theft, race and murder at Christmas, moving the classical story to contemporary times and the family intrigue to a top tech London company where immigrants work alongside true Victorians, and half-Victorians, often wondering: who is who? When murder and theft happen simultaneously, Riktavia is no longer just an innocent data thief, stealing for a higher purpose.