Stork Twenty Questions – Magda Raczyńska


Magda Raczyńska (b. 1974) is a graduate of Sociology at Warsaw University (MA, PhD) and Goldsmiths (MA in Contemporary Art Theory), author of texts on art, culture and politics published in numerous magazines, newspapers, exhibition catalogues, books and the online blog She currently works at the Polish Cultural Institute in London where she curates the literary programme. In London since 2006.

Find Magda on Twitter @Polishbooks


1. What is your happiest memory?

The first touch of my bloody, slimy, hairy newborn girl on my tired skin.

2. If you could be a superhero, what kind of superpower you would like to have?

Neutralise the superpowers others have or are. I don’t trust the combination of super + power.

3. What do you do when you are sad?

Cry. Cuddle. Talk. Check Twitter.

4. Describe yourself in five words.

Taurus and Tiger and 11.

5. How would your friends describe you?

Strong, happy, talking too much.

6. What are you proud of?

Five years of running literary programme for the Polish Cultural Institute in London, building it nearly from scratch.

7. Would you like to go into space?

I’d rather go inside my body like in “Once Upon a Time… Life” by Albert Barille, that amazing French animated film for kids I loved watching when I was little.

8. What makes you angry?

Stupidity and rudeness being the result of our inability to look at ourselves through others’ eyes.

9. If you had six months left to live, how you would spend the time?

Meet everyone who matters to me for the last louche splash and then disappear with my family and loads of books I never had time to read somewhere close to Falasarna beach in Crete.

10. What are you afraid of?

One thing really, but won’t say it loud not to tempt fate.

11. Who did you want to be when you were growing up?

A writer. But I can’t lie or make up stories, so am totally incompetent.

12. What is your favourite drink?

White wine.

13. What do you do to remain sane?

Watch films with my daughters.

14. Are you a cat or a dog person?

I am a man and a child person.

15. What are books for?


16. What are the books that made the biggest impression on you last year?

The Wolf Man illustrated by Sława Harasymowicz, Madame Mephisto by A.M.Bakalar, HHhH by Laurence Binet, The Child in Time by Ian McEwan, Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer, Smena’s Memory by Wioletta Grzegorzewska, The City of Mamoko by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński.

17. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

A bit closer to Hampstead Heath than now. Walking distance would do.

18. Do you remember your dreams, and if yes could you describe one of your dreams?

A while ago I dreamt a full feature film about a good-hearted diplomat (Robin Williams) whose naïve daughter (Emma Stone) becomes Julian Assange’s (Jesse Eisenberg) groupie. She follows Assange all over the world which pushes her father to track and rescue her. I woke up after the credits rolled down.

19. If you were not doing what you do now, what would be your job?

Book editor or teacher.

20. Where are you now?

Where I wanted to be.