Five Questions with Grażyna Plebanek – Toronto International Festival of Authors

Grażyna Plebanek’s bestselling novel Illegal Liaisons, translated by Danusia Stok,  has just been published in the US and Canada by New Europe Books. Grażyna took part in this year’s Toronto International Festival of Authors and is now in the US promoting the book.


(Grażyna Plebanek at Toronto International Festival of Authors. Photo Credit: Grażyna Plebanek)


Here’s an excerpt from the interview with Grażyna Plebanek by the Toronto International Festival of Authors.

IFOA: The protagonist of Illegal Liaisons, Jonathan, is a stay-at-home dad, while his wife, Megi, is a very ambitious career woman. Why was challenging traditional gender roles so important to this story?

Grażyna Plebanek: It was hard not to notice that this sort of challenging happens everywhere nowadays. In Brussels, Stockholm, Warsaw, I see more and more fathers pushing strollers. Whether it’s the effect of feminism or the economic crisis, the stay-at-home dad is no longer a rare phenomenon. Men are becoming more involved in the everyday life of their families. In the case of divorce, they share custody, half-half. A society of equality has been born, we are half-men, half-women in our family roles, for better and worse. One can ask if this is really good, but that’s another question.

The exchange of roles in Illegal Liaisons tempted me because I wanted to see if a man “playing the woman’s part” and captured by romance would behave like a woman. How would Anna Karenina behave today if she were a man?

Read the full interview here.


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