LEX Copyright Iroda / LEX Copyright Office

by Pawel Kurczab


OPERATION HYACINTH published on 35th Anniversary of Polish Anti-Gay Program by Riverdale Avenue Books

The innovative hybrid publisher, Riverdale Avenue Books has published the novel OPERATION HYACINTH by Pawel Kurczab to mark the 35th Anniversary of the Polish government’s anti-gay program. The book is set in the 1985 when the Polish Communist police orchestrated a cruel anti-gay program that targeted and punished queer people under the code name Operation Hyacinth, creating a national database of all Polish homosexuals and people who were in touch with them, resulting in the registration and surveillance of about 11,000 people.

Pawel Kurczab, a gay Polish author, has written a devastating debut novel combining the true history of Poland’s discrimination of LGBTQ+ people and his own experiences growing up in Poland, creating a doomed love story between a Polish bureaucrat and a priest in OPERATION HYACINTH.

The novel is narrated by Kamil, a simple secret police officer following orders from the Communist Party of Poland, weeding out revolutionaries and spreading propaganda. For his loyalty, he's given everything he's ever dreamed of having. One day, Kamil is ordered to participate in Operation Hyacinth, where he must disguise himself to infiltrate the gay community. Little does he know, the operation will change his life forever as he comes to terms with who he really is under a dictatorship that dictates who he – and love -- should be.

“Few people outside of Poland know of this horrendous time for the queer community in Poland,” said Riverdale Avenue Books Publisher Lori Perkins, “I’m really proud to be able to bring this book to an English-reading audience, and to have had one of our junior editors, David T. Valentin, shepherd this important work about gay history into print.”