“Nina Fits Patrick”: Transnational Alliances and the Collaborative Textual Body of "The Loves of Faustyna"
This essay reads The Loves of Faustyna 1995 by Nina FitzPatrick, a pseudonym for the collaborative writing of Nina Witoszek, a writer and scholar of Polish origin currently living in Norway, and her late partner Patrick Sheeran, an Irish academic. Focusing on the experiences of a female half-Jewish activist and member of Solidarność, FitzPatrick’s postmodern, hybrid text irreverently confronts the implicit violence of Catholic and patriarchal independence movements. Beginning with an analysis of the method of the text’s production as a collaborative writerly act attributed to a single, authorial signature, this essay argues that The Loves of Faustyna offers a dialogic mode of anticolonial resistance predicated on sharing, relating, and fusing the personal stories of differently colonized Polish and Irish bodies. Both Poland and Ireland have experienced centuries-long occupations by foreign invaders, a historical burden that has affected each country’s respective cultural imaginary and created a sense of national identity under siege. Applying a postcolonial framework to the history of Poland in The Loves of Faustyna allows FitzPatrick to construct a potential site of new transnational alliances between multiple writerly and readerly subjects.