New Star author translated into Polish
June 01st, 2021
In May, New Star Books received copies of the new Polish edition of Andrew Struthers’ dual book The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed (2017) published this spring by Vis-A-Vis Etiuda of Warszawa, one of Poland’s leading publishing houses.
Święte zioło / Diabelski Chwast (Vis-A-Vis, 2021) joins an impressive list at Vis-A-Vis, including books by William S. Burroughs, Doris Lessing, Paul Tillich, Noam Chomsky, Bret Easton Ellis, Carl Jung, George Orwell, Ann Rice, J.G. Ballard, Montaigne, Kierkegaard, Pascal, T.S. Elliot, and quite a few other household names; Struthers is listed between Bram Stoker and Sun Tzu on Vis-A-Vis’s website.
The translated version, like the English book, is printed as a dual manuscript with Święte zioło (The Sacred Herb) on one side; and Diabelski Chwast (The Devil’s Weed) on the other side.
Upon the release of the English version in 2017, BCBookLook ran a review by Erika Dyck: https://bcbooklook.com/the-sacred-herb-the-devils-weed/
The first half of this review is reprinted below.
The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed (New Star 2017) $19 978-55420-115-0
Marijuana can be dangerous and joyous. Anyone telling you marijuana is one thing, and not the other, is a liar.
And, yes, it can also be medicinal for some. Much like alcohol, except the death rate and social costs have been far less.
You don’t have to read a government study to figure this stuff out. And don’t trust pot proponents or your neighbour Brad to give you the lowdown.
The truth, my friend, is brilliantly provided in Andrew Struthers’ hilarious, dualistic, ying/yangish, James Joycean, expert compilation of two manuscripts sleeping in the same bed, The Sacred Herb / The Devil’s Weed (New Star $19).
One half of this upside-down ‘double paperback’ affords a scintillating distillation of marijuana-induced misadventures gathered from Struthers’ acquaintances and Facebook informants, The Sacred Herb. This is a rollicking, strung-together, strung-out narrative that captures the creative, mostly benign insanity and weird energy of pot trips.
Or you can turn the book upside down and start reading the other half first. Struthers has gone beyond anecdotal evidence for The Devil’s Weed, cobbling together a somewhat more sociological survey of the humble weed that purportedly makes music sound better. But listen up, kids. Ganga can make some people go off the deep end.
Erika Dyck is Canada Research Chair in History of Medicine and a professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. Her books include Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD on the Canadian Prairies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, reprinted by University of Manitoba Press, 2012); Facing Eugenics: Reproduction, Sterilization, and the Politics of Choice (University of Toronto Press, 2013); and Managing Madness: Weyburn Mental Hospital and the Transformation of Psychiatric Care in Canada (University of Manitoba Press, 2017).
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Andrew Struthers now lives in Victoria, BC with his daughter Pasheabel, where he works as a writer and filmmaker. His accounts of Clayoquot protests won him a National Magazine Award for humour and were published in book form as The Green Shadow. A frequent contributor to the Vancouver Sun, Monday Magazine, and Western Living, he has also written plays, shot four short films, and sold three feature film screenplays.
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