According to Her is a splendidly accomplished novel, a late debut that could be described as a modern apocrypha. It is the colourful tale of a woman aged almost a hundred, as she reminisces about her son Jehoshua, who died tragically young. A nameless Greek biographer has appeared at her house in Nazareth to find out about the life and deeds of Jehoshua, who was killed by the Romans. The more you read, the more you realise that the story of the young Jewish doctor that we hear from the narrator’s lips is more than accidentally familiar, because Jehoshua is none other than Jesus Christ. In fact, he wasn’t born in Bethlehem and wasn’t the son of a carpenter, but a saddler, but despite the differences in some of the details between this biography and the version in the gospels, the connection is blindingly obvious. According to Heris a complex novel, covering not only Jehoshua’s life story, which has so many things in common with that of Jesus, but also describing the fates of several other characters from the Nazareth healer’s immediate circle. This apocryphal tale is very well set in the real historical world of Roman Palestine, and is also a mine of information on the subject of Jewish religious beliefs and morality. In this respect it has no particular bias. Instead it is a noble, sincere attempt to revive an old theme, or rather to give it a new airing.
- Dariusz Nowacki
Maciej Nawariak (b. 1955), graduated from the Łódź Film School. He is a journalist and translator from English.