“Eleven Inch” by Michal Witkowski— In Search

Witkowski, Michal. “Eleven-Inch”, Seagull Books, 2021.

In Search

Amos Lassen

Right after the fall of the Berlin Wall, two queer teens  travel from Eastern Europe Vienna and then Zurich, in search of a better life as sex workers. They are total opposites. Milan, aka Dianka, is a dream-filled, passive guy from Slovakia, who has moved from one abusive sugar daddy to the next and Michał, a Pole, seeks pleasure and is selfishand ruthless, qualities that allow him to succeed in the West as he takes advantage of his huge penis that he calls ‘Eleven-Inch’.

The two enter a world of hustler bars, public toilets, and spend nights sleeping in train stations, parks and in the homes of their wealthy clients. Writer Michał Witkowski explores the transition from Soviet-style communism to neoliberal capitalism in Europe through the  eyes and experiences of the destitute queers, the most marginalized societal group. 

Through detail and wit, we get quite an emotional story of acollapsing culture that takes us to metro stations, seedy bars and sad streets.Witkowski  challenges ideas of what it means to be queer .