A.M. Bakalar – Poland by the Book
In the latest April edition of WizzAir Inflight magazine, A.M. Bakalar writes about Polish books in translation.
‘Since I was a child I regularly lost myself in books. My parents, compulsive readers, have a beautiful collection at my home in Wroclaw and I remember my father always carrying heaps of books that he thought I should read. My mother worked for a book distributor, so I would often visit her at her office to devour the latest publications. More than 20 years later I decided to write myself. Although I chose English as the language to write my first novel, Madame Mephisto, Poles, their lives and history, is what still fascinates me.
The most affecting novels capture Poland’s unwavering spirit. What distinguishes them is their settings, with many of the most successful using Poland’s tumultuous history as a backdrop. Likewise, each of our four main literary cities has a story to tell. Poland can be bone-shakingly cold and harsh, and subjects such as abortion, Catholicism and patriotism are always emotionally charged. But Polish novelists can also write with a breath of freedom.
Should you want to explore these stories and settings, here are three captivating cities to get you started.’
Read the full article in WizzAir Inflight April magazine available online here. Pages 68-75
A.M. Bakalar was born and raised in Poland. Madame Mephisto is her first novel and was among readers recommendations to the 2012 Guardian First Book Award. She is the first Polish woman to publish a novel in English since Poland joined EU in 2004. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The International New York Times,Wasafiri, B O D Y and Litro Magazine. She was the editor of Litro Magazine Polish Issue. A.M. Bakalar lives with her partner, a drum and bass musician, in London. She is currently at work on her second novel.