Considered a masterpiece of antifascist world literature, Medallions stands as the culmination of Nalkowska's literary style, a style the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz once described as "the iron capital of her art and one of the very few exportables in our national literature." More than mere historical record, Medallions offers the reader startling immediacy, the repetition of an event as it persists in the testimonial present, in the scars on the consciousness and conscience of individuals.
A novelist, dramatist, short-story writer, and essayist, Zofia Nalkowska (1884-1954) was a leading proponent of the avant-garde of her day. A resident of Warsaw, she was an active member of the Polish PEN Club, the first female member of the Polish Academy of Literature, and the patron of a popular Warsaw literary salon. Her life in occupied Warsaw during World War II is the subject of her Wartime Diaries and Medallions. Diana Kuprel has a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Toronto. She is a postdoctoral fellow for the Literary History Project, University of Toronto, and editor in chief of Books in Canada: The Canadian Review of Books.