Video Interview with A.M. Bakalar

A.M. Bakalar is the first Polish woman to publish a novel in English since Poland joined the EU. We talked to Asia about her debut novel Madame Mephisto.

Why and when did you first start writing?

How did you come up with the title?

How do you write?

Praise for Madame Mephisto

‘Over the five days she [Magda] spends telling her story to a mystery listener, she elicits sympathy but never affection. By the time she says, “I do not see the point of dissecting events which had never happened, even if they were highly possible”, her unreliability is established … At its best, however, Madame Mephisto shows how both totalitarianism and theocracy oppress women and infantilize men. Bakalar, who settled in England in 2004, writes in English and captures how isolating London can be for newcomers.’ Max Liu, The Times Literary Supplement

‘Mother Poland is comprehensively slammed in A.M. Bakalar’s punchy debut, a tale of Polish migration that supplements its core of rebellion and noncomformity with a layer of melodrama … Mouthpiece of new Poland or amoral ballbreaker? … what’s most striking about the book is its vigour and the curious charisma of Magda herself. Balakar has created a contemporary anti-heroine with a heart of pure titanium, the bad girl who eventually comes if not exactly good, then good–ish.’ Elsbeth Lindner, Bookoxygen

‘A.M. Bakalar created a memorable anti-heroine, worth adapting to the big screen … And as the story develops, we are also witnessing a life confession that will end in an extraordinary and moving way. In a nutshell, thumbs up to A.M Bakalar for a fantastic first novel!’ Jimena Gorraez, Literati

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